Integrating Biodegradable 3-Dimensional-Printing into Tracheal Reconstruction


Background: Currently, there is no set standard treatment for long-segment tracheomalacia and stenosis. In this study we set out to explore the potential to create a tissue engineered, biodegradable and three-dimensionally (3D) printed tracheal ring as a first step towards bioengineering a long segment tracheal replacement. Method of Approach: A 3D-Computer aided design (CAD) model was produced with multiple channels to allow for cellular growth while mimicking the native anatomy. The design was optimized to allow for printability, cellular expansion, and integration and 3D printed using a modified commercial 3D printer. Results: The cells grown in the scaffold demonstrated a similar proliferation trend compared to control. Chondrocytes within the 3D printed ring retained their phenotypic properties and did not infer any significant change in flexibility, contour and strength to the scaffold. Conclusion: The combination of living cells and a 3D modeled patient specific graft may address some of the unmet clinical needs in the field of tracheal reconstruction. This proof of concept study represents a first step towards producing a 3D printed and tissue engineered long segment tracheal replacement graft for airway surgery.

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Goldstein, T. , Smith, L. , Smith, B. , Grande, D. and Zeltsman, D. (2015) Integrating Biodegradable 3-Dimensional-Printing into Tracheal Reconstruction. Open Journal of Regenerative Medicine, 4, 27-33. doi: 10.4236/ojrm.2015.43004.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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