Soon: On-site 3-D printing of emergency tents

A 3-D print in progress. Could the success of 3-D printing in experimental health procedures pave the way for it to be used in international development, not just in global health but also in disaster situations? Photo by: Tim Regan / CC BY

Born with a defective windpipe, Garrett Peterson has had difficulty breathing since birth — and has never left the hospital as a result. His doctors weren’t sure how long they could keep him alive. Last year, after reading about an experimental procedure that helped Kaiba Gionfriddo — a baby with similar breathing problems — Peterson’s father turned to pediatric ENT specialist Dr. Glenn Green and his colleague, biomedical engineer Scott Hollister, for help.

Green and Hollister worked on Gionfriddo’s experimental procedure. Hollister, who runs the University of Michigan 3-D Lab, had been working on 3-D printing for biomaterials and tissue engineering for nearly two decades. For Peterson’s procedure, Hollister combined his software with Mimics — a medical image processing software from Materialise, a rapid prototyping and CAD software development firm based in Belgium — to create the splints.

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About the author

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    Anna Patricia Valerio

    Anna Patricia Valerio is a Manila-based development analyst focusing on writing innovative, in-the-know content for senior executives in the international development community. Before joining Devex, Patricia wrote and edited business, technology and health stories for BusinessWorld, a Manila-based business newspaper.

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