3-D printer helps save dying baby with rare disease

May 24, 2013 7:37:15 PM PDT
A baby boy with a rare disease is alive, thanks in large part to a device made by a 3-D printer.

Kaiba Gionfriddo of Ohio was born with a respiratory condition that caused his airways to collapse, blocking the flow of air to his lungs. At two months of age, Kaiba's breathing became so labored he needed to be resuscitated on a daily basis.

Desperate, his doctors decided to try a technique that had only been used on animals. They turned to an expert at the University of Michigan who designed an airway splint made of a special polymer that was made by a 3-D printer.

And now, 15 months after the surgery, Kaiba's still doing well. His lungs are now working just fine on their own.

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