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Baby's life saved with groundbreaking 3D printed device from U-M that restored his breathing
Date:5/23/2013

m a CT scan of Kaiba's trachea/bronchus, integrating an image-based computer model with laser-based 3D printing to produce the splint.

"Our vision at the University of Michigan Health System is to create the future of health care through discovery. This collaboration between faculty in our Medical School and College of Engineering is an incredible demonstration of how we achieve that vision, translating research into treatments for our patients," says Ora Hirsch Pescovitz , M.D., U-M executive vice president for medical affairs and CEO of the U-M Health System.

"Groundbreaking discoveries that save lives of individuals across the nation and world are happening right here in Ann Arbor. I continue to be inspired and proud of the extraordinary people and the amazing work happening across the Health System."

Kaiba was off ventilator support 21 days after the procedure, and has not had breathing trouble since then.

"The material we used is a nice choice for this. It takes about two to three years for the trachea to remodel and grow into a healthy state, and that's about how long this material will take to dissolve into the body," says Hollister.

"Kaiba's case is definitely the highlight of my career so far. To actually build something that a surgeon can use to save a person's life? It's a tremendous feeling."

The image-based design and 3D biomaterial printing process can be adapted to build and reconstruct a number of tissue structures.  Green and Hollister have already utilized the process to build and test patient specific ear and nose structures in pre-clinical models.  In addition, the method has been used by Hollister with collaborators to rebuild bone structures (spine, craniofacial and long bone) in pre-clinical models.

Severe tracheobronchomalacia is rare. About 1 in 2,200 babies are born with tracheomalacia and most children grow out of it by age 2
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SOURCE University of Michigan Health System
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