3D tire has saved a child’s life

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When Kaiba Gionfriddo was six weeks old, she was in a restaurant with her family, when the girl suddenly stopped breathing and began to turn blue. It turned out that she has a severe form of tracheobronchomalacia. This disease is very rare, with the trachea destroyed by it due to poor support of cartilage. Although she survived, this incident led to a cessation of breathing on a regular basis, which requires daily resuscitation. Given the seriousness of the situation, her doctors decided to go all-in and try to invent something new – an implanted 3D-printing tire that supports the trachea.

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The device is already being developed at the University of Michigan, Associate Professor of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Dr. Glenn Green, and Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Scott Hollister. They have never done something like that for a person before. At this point, they must obtain approval from the US Food and Drug Administration in order to use the implant for the girl.
In order to make a splint, doctors first performed a CT of the trachea of ​​the child, then they created a computer model of an implant based on it. Then they used a 3D laser printer to convert a digital model of a physical object into a real one. The implant is made of a biopolymer, known as polycaprolactone.

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On February 9 last year, surgical procedures were performed, as a result of which the tubular tire was sewn around the child's airway. This immediately opened up her bronchi, plus the tire now serves as a skeleton to guide the proper growth of cartilage. Most children with tracheobronchomatization can fight the disease for two to three years, which is about the same as a biocompatible polymer needs to be dissolved in the body.
Twenty-one days after the end of the procedure, the child was disconnected from the support fan. From that moment to today, when the girl is 20 months old, there are absolutely no breathing problems.

For many years, children suffered, and then died from tracheobronchomatization, now this disease is not a sentence, since recovery is real!

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