3-D Printing Saves a Child

Kaiba Gionfriddo

Kaiba Gionfriddo suffered from a life-threatening breathing disorder. Pediatric ear, nose and throat surgeon Glenn Green, M.D., and biomedical engineer Scott Hollister, Ph.D., teamed up to create a remarkable, first-of-its-kind solution. Using CT scans, a 3-D printer and an image-based computer model, the team created a biodegradable, implantable splint that opened Kaiba’s airway to allow for proper breathing and growth. The same technique is also being applied to regrow cartilage and other tissue for facial reconstruction and more — using a patient’s own stem cells to create new structures that the patient’s body won’t reject.