Researchers at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, in Manhasset, NY are breaking ground on experiments involving 3D printing customized trachea segments of the.
When a person damages their trachea (also known as the windpipe), there are typically two procedures that exist to repair the damage. Doctors can cut out the damaged tissue and reattached the health ends, or they can graft on cartilage from the patient’s ribs. Both procedures can be risky, and sometimes there is too much damaged tissue and the trachea can only be ‘stretched’ so far.
The doctors decided to explore the possibility of bioprinting tracheal segments that could replace damaged tissue instead of stretching or grafting.
The idea was to print a scaffolding in plastic and then fill it with a bio material paste containing collagen and cells.
The researchers printed and assembled a syringe paste extruder and modified their MakerBot Replicator 2X dual extruder so that one of the extruders could print with the bio material.
The main benefits of this prototyping is the speed and efficiency with which they can print and test revisions of the bio parts.
Watch MakerBot’s video below that interviews the doctors working on the project.