3D-printing has changed dramatically since inventors first attempted to use it in 1980. It’s now found in multiple industries including manufacturing, architecture, art, and medicine. Recently, doctors at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta used the technique in a groundbreaking pediatric surgery. Doctors at the hospital received emergency clearance from the FDA to use 3D-printed tracheal splints to open the airways of a 7-month-old battling congenital heart disease and Tracheobronchomalacia. Three 3D-printed splints were placed around the baby’s trachea to open his airways. Eventually, the splints will be absorbed into the body.
This is a fantastic example of human ingenuity, and the miracles that can occur with technology and dedicated professionals working together.