The Youngstown, Ohio, baby turned blue again and again as his little airways collapsed and kept air from reaching his lungs. But doctors used a 3-D bioprinter to custom-make a splint that is holding his airway open and helping him breathe.
Now 19-month-old Kaiba Gionfriddo is “into everything”, says his mother, April Gionfriddo.
Kaiba’s life was saved by a brand-new field of regenerative medicine based on plastics and inkjet printers. Doctors at the University of Michigan used CT scans of Kaiba’s little airways to custom-design a scaffolding to pull open the passages and hold them open until they could grow strong and healthy on their own.