Patient Specific Airway Stents

Student: Katherine Bussey, 2015-2016

Sponsor: Custom Orthopaedic Solutions, Cleveland, OH

Millions of people worldwide suffer from respiratory diseases which obstruct the airway, making it difficult to breathe. Currently, a silicone airway stent, essentially a rubber tube, is inserted into a patient's airway to hold open the affected trachea or bronchi. However, limited dimension variability yields stents that cause irritation, scar tissue build up, and infection due to improper fit. Custom Orthopaedic Solutions has developed computer software that can convert a patient's CT scan to a 3D printed stent that is formed to the specific anatomy and disease state of that patient. Proper fit reduces irritation and infection as well as a significant decrease in procedure time. The end goal is to bring to market a robust and cost effective process of 3D printing patient specific airway stents.