According to the recent study, 3D printed windpipe saved lives of three babies, from the life-threatening condition. All of them suffer from illnesses that can collapse their windpipes and prevent air getting in. The 3D windpipes were customized for each individual. The interesting fact about those 3D implants is that they change shape as the child grows. Because only three babies were included in this study, it doesn’t prove will this work in every case. According to the researchers at the University of Michigan (CS Mott Children's Hospital), this can be a promising solution for this condition that has no cure.
Tracheobronchomalacia (collapse and weakening of the trachea (windpipes)) is a common condition. In fact, 1 in 2.000 children suffers from this condition. Windpipes normally let the air travel to the lungs. If they collapse, it cannot get to the lungs. Children with the severe form have lower chances for survival, but if they get to the age of 3, their windpipes usually get stronger, so those children can breathe well.
Kaiba Gionfriddo is one of the children who had the severe form. When he was only three months old, this procedure was performed on him. He couldn’t get enough air, so doctors used this device as the last resort. The procedure was successful, and now, Kaiba is a three-year-old child. According to his doctors, he has a bright future. Now, the test confirms that splits signs of melting away. His windpipes are strong enough, so soon he will be able to breathe without support. He was the first child who had this procedure.