Research ArticleENGINEERING

Digital light 3D printing of customized bioresorbable airway stents with elastomeric properties

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Science Advances  03 Feb 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 6, eabe9499
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abe9499


Central airway obstruction is a life-threatening disorder causing a high physical and psychological burden to patients. Standard-of-care airway stents are silicone tubes, which provide immediate relief but are prone to migration. Thus, they require additional surgeries to be removed, which may cause tissue damage. Customized bioresorbable airway stents produced by 3D printing would be highly needed in the management of this disorder. However, biocompatible and biodegradable materials for 3D printing of elastic medical implants are still lacking. Here, we report dual-polymer photoinks for digital light 3D printing of customized and bioresorbable airway stents. These stents exhibit tunable elastomeric properties with suitable biodegradability. In vivo study in healthy rabbits confirmed biocompatibility and showed that the stents stayed in place for 7 weeks after which they became radiographically invisible. This work opens promising perspectives for the rapid manufacturing of the customized medical devices for which high precision, elasticity, and degradability are sought.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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