3D-printed Airway Stents Developed by Cleveland Clinic Doctor, approved by FDA

Health technology keeps growing and helping more lives! The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared patient-specific airway stents developed by Cleveland Clinic physician Tom Gildea, M.D.

Dr. Gildea and his engineering team developed patient-specific stents that are designed using CT scans and 3D visualization software and then fabricated on a 3D printer and injected with medical-grade silicone. The process allows them to create stents that perfectly fit an individual patient’s anatomy. Another advantage of the patient-specific silicone stents is they have the potential to be more tolerable than traditional silicone stents. 

Before this innovation, Standard airway stents were (still are) available in a limited number of sizes and shapes, but with patients’ different anatomies, it can be difficult to get a perfect fit. A new subsidiary, called VisionAir Solutions, will form around the technology, aiming to bring more personalized medical devices to interventional pulmonologists and patients.

Hopefully this new technology can continue to be used successfully.

Pic: Robina Weermeijer Unsplash

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