3D Printing Cures Tracheobronchomalacia
Tracheobronchomalacia (TM) is a rare condition where a person can only take shallow breaths or struggle to breathe at all and in worse case can lead to death. This occurs when the trachea (the main trunk of system of tubes by which air passes to and from the lungs) is weak due to soft cartilage in a certain area or throughout the trachea and the mainstem bronchi (the main passageway into the lungs) are involved as well.
Glenn E. Green, MD, and Associate Professor of Pediatric Otolaryngology and Scott J. Hollister, PhD, a professor of Bioengineering partnered up and were determined to find a cure for tracheobronchomalacia with some help from 3D printing along the way. “Severe tracheobronchomalacia has been a condition that has frustrated me for years,” says Green. “I’ve seen children die from it. To see this device work, for a second time, it’s a major accomplishment and offers hope for these children.”
Above is a picture of the second baby who’s life was saved with a new, bioresorbable device developed at the University of Michigan by Dr. Green and Dr. Hollister.
“It is a tremendous feeling to know that this device has saved another child. We believe there are many other applications for these techniques, but to see the impact living and breathing in front of you is overwhelming.”- Scott Hollister, Michigan Engineering professor
Together they attended TEDxUofM to talk about their work.