3D Printing Saves Lives

header_logo_um3dI had the privilege of attending a demonstration at the UM3D Lab at the Digital Media Commons earlier in the year.  It’s an amazing place that does amazing things.  We printed out these rather simple coins with the Michigan block “M” printed on them, but the explanation that they provided about the other projects that they have undertaken are extraordinary.  Plus, they have some cool samples on display.  Oh and what will really blow your mind?…  The actual printing.

So to say that 3D printing is revolutionary is probably an understatement, but this recent post in Mashable about some UM doctors saving the life of a baby using the technology?  Like I said…  AMAZING.

Reposted from Mashable

3D Printing Is a Matter of Life and Death

By Matt Petronzio

When Kaiba Gionfriddo was born prematurely on Oct. 28, 2011, everything seemed relatively normal. At 35 weeks, his doctors’ main concern was lung development, but Kaiba was breathing just fine. Doctors deemed him healthy enough to send him home within a few days.

Six weeks later, while the Gionfriddo family — parents April and Bryan, and two older siblings — were eating dinner at a restaurant, Kaiba stopped breathing and turned blue. After 10 days in the hospital and another incident, physicians diagnosed the infant with severe tracheobronchomalacia; his windpipe was so weak that his trachea and left bronchus collapsed, preventing crucial airflow from reaching his lungs. So Kaiba underwent a tracheostomy and was put on a ventilator, the typical treatment for his condition.

It didn’t work. Almost daily, Kaiba would stop breathing and his heart would stop. The prognosis wasn’t good. So his doctors tried something revolutionary: a 3D-printed lung splint that could save his life.

Glenn Green, MD, associate professor of pediatric otolaryngology at the University of Michigan, and colleague Scott Hollister, PhD, professor of biomedical engineering and associate professor of surgery, used 3D printing technology to create a bioresorbable device that instantly helped Kaiba breathe. It’s a prime example of how 3D printing is transforming healthcare as we know it…

Read the full story here.

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