POSITRACTION: 3-D Printing = Baby Breathes

2014-Jun-01

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/03/17/289042381/doctors-use-3-d-printing-to-help-a-baby-breathe

Doctors Use 3-D Printing To Help A Baby Breathe
by ROB STEINMarch 17, 2014 4:17 AM ET

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So the Petersons contacted Dr. Glenn Green at the University of Michigan, who specializes in conditions like Garrett’s. He teamed up with Scott Hollister, a biomedical engineer who runs the university’s 3-D Printing Lab, to create a remarkable solution to Garrett’s problem — a device that will hold open Garrett’s windpipe until it’s strong enough to work on its own.

Instead of shooting ink onto a flat page to print words or pictures, 3-D printers use other material, such as plastic or metal, to create three-dimensional objects.

“You build up layers until you have the complete 3-D structure,” Hollister says.

3-D printers have been used to build jewelry, art and even guns. But Hollister is using the technology to create medical devices. He uses a 3-D printer that melts particles of plastic dust with a laser. He has already built a jawbone for a patient in Italy and has helped another baby with a condition similar to Garrett’s. But Garrett is a lot of sicker and his condition is a lot more complicated.

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I won’t spoil the ending.

It’s amazing what technology can do.

Makes me sad.

I think of all the babies aborted.

Argh!

How stupid are we as a species?

But joy that we are smart enough to save some.

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