Most of us do it without thinking. Adults take up to 1,000 breaths per hour.
When the trachea becomes constricted, however, help comes in the form of little pipes made from metal or silicon.
These ‘stents’ ensure our airways are kept open, but until now they’ve never been geared towards individual patients’ needs.
Metal stents require surgical removal, while their silicon counterparts often slip from the insertion site.
Now, a team of Zurich-based researchers has developed a stent that is not only custom-built but dissolves of its own accord.
Based on imagery from a CT scan the stents are manufactured through a 3D printing method utilizing a special kind of photosensitive resin.
A potential game-changer for sustainable medical treatments.