Three small children with weak airways that were constantly collapsing are alive and well thanks to a "4-D" printed splint that saved them from almost certain suffocation.The device grows with the child, expanding as necessary so it doesn't interfere with natural growth. Children with tracheobronchomalacia who reach age 3 or so usually outgrow the condition. The trick is getting them there. Materials cost about $10. It has the potential to save precious lives and has already changed the lives for the three children who have received the device so far.
Three years after the splints were custom made and attached to their tracheas, the children are able to breathe on their own, a team of doctors reported on Wednesday. The splints are not only precisely fitted to the children, but they're made to grow as the children grow. (That's the fourth dimension, the researchers say.)
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
And did you see this?
Doctors Print Up '4-D' Airway, Save Three Babies