3D-printed plastic splint saves baby's life

05/29/2013

3D bioprinting recently made a dramatic move from the world of science fiction and researcher's fantasy to the real world of saving a baby's life at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI).

When Kaiba Gionfriddo's life was in danger due to difficulty breathing two faculty members at the University of Michigan applied for and received emergency clearance from the Food and Drug Administration to create and implant a tracheal splint made from polycaprolactone, one of many medical plastics that qualify as biomaterials.

The splint was sewn around Kaiba's airway to expand the bronchus and give it a skeleton to aid proper growth. In approximately three years, the splint will be reabsorbed by the body....
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