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3D Printed Organs for Future Implantation

This is an image of Kaiba and his mother, taken one year ago after the implantation.

This is an image of Kaiba and his mother, taken one year ago after the implantation.

A recent study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and reported a successful implantation of a three-dimensional printed tracheal splint into an infant.

David A. Zopf, M.D., and colleagues from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, describe the case of implantation. The infant, who had localized tracheobronchomalacia, was implanted with a customized tracheal splint manufactured from polycaprolactone using a 3D printer.

The authors noted that the patient was born at 35 weeks’ gestation and seemed to be in normal health, however, after 6 weeks of birth, the baby had chest-wall retractions and difficulty in breathing. Given this situation, endotracheal intubation was needed to maintain ventilation by age 2 months. Therefore, the researchers designed a model of infant tracheal splint and then fabricated it with resorbable thermoplastic material through laser sintering.  Sutures were placed around the malacic left bronchus circumference and tied through interstices of the splint. One week after the placement of the splint, weaning from mechanical ventilation was initiated, and ventilator support was disconnected entirely 21 days after the procedure. One year after the surgery, the baby was examined in terms of left mainstem bronchus with imaging and endoscopy and no splint-related problems have been reported.

 Kaiba and dog

No splint-related problems have been reported with Kaiba since the implantation one year ago. *Image source: freep.com

 “This successful case suggests that high-resolution imaging, computer-aided design and biomaterial 3D printing together could facilitate the creation of implantable devices for conditions that are anatomically specific for given patients,” the authors said.

Two authors disclosed a patent pending associated with the device.

Source: Doctors lounge

Image sourcemedicaldaily.com