Engineering strategies to facilitate regeneration of missing tissues commonly employ biomaterial scaffolds to guide tissue formation. Such approaches often seek to leverage bioresorbable scaffold materials to mitigate potential complications that might be associated with long-term retention of the implanted material.
Advances in medical imaging and computer-aided manufacturing processes in recent years are enabling exciting new frontiers toward fabrication of designer bioresorbable scaffolds for regenerative medicine. A recent case series reported by Les et al. highlights clinical application of customized 3D-printed bioresorbable airway splints in 15 pediatric patients with severe tracheobronchomalacia. The report suggests the clinical safety and efficacy of the bioresorbable external stents in the context of the compassionate use case series. The series provides an example of emerging approaches harnessing medical imaging, 3D-printing, and bioresorbable materials to fabricate customized implantable devices that provide transient support to tissues to achieve desired clinical outcomes.
3D-printed, externally-implanted, bioresorbable airway splints for severe tracheobronchomalacia.
Les AS, Ohye RG, Filbrun AG, Ghadimi Mahani M, Flanagan CL, Daniels RC, Kidwell KM, Zopf DA, Hollister SJ, Green GE. Laryngoscope. 2019 Feb 22. doi: 10.1002/lary.27863. [Epub ahead of print]