The life of 20-month-old Kaiba Gionfriddo was saved when a team of researchers at the University of Michigan developed a splint using a 3D printer that could be implanted around the baby's trachea tube to expand the collapsed windpipe and support tissue growth. Kaiba was diagnosed at 6 weeks with tracheobronchomalacia, a congenital condition in which the windpipe collapses, preventing oxygen flow into the body. Since the February 2012 operation, the splint has helped Kaiba's trachea to fully reconstruct itself, and the splint will be resorbed over time.

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