If you think 3D printing’s overhyped with all this talk of plastic guns and strange, spider-like houses, you clearly haven’t seen this: a tiny airway splint created using a 3D printer that saved a three-month-old’s life.
The Youngstown, Ohio, baby turned blue again and again as his little airways collapsed and kept air from reaching his lungs. But doctors at U-M used a 3-D bioprinter to custom-make a splint that is holding his airway open and helping him breathe.
Researchers at the University of Michigan used a 3-D printer to build a tiny splint-like implant that saved a baby boy with life-threatening breathing problems. With the implant's success, custom-designing medical devices on a 3-D printer may become common.
Researches from U-M are combining their resources, talent and experience to find a solution to a problem they have yet to figure out. The group has been given a 300,000 dollar Global Challenges grant from the University's Third Century Initiative to do just that.