Architects Develop 3D-Printed Trachael Stent Based on Shell Lace Structure

Published by , October 26, 2018 12:03 pm

(3Ders.org) Tonkin Liu has pioneered the use of structures based on a single-surface shell lace design. Now, Anna Liu and Mike Tonkin of London-based Tonkin Liu have developed an innovative medical device called the Shell Lace Stent for use in patients’ windpipes. The prototype stent is based on the firm’s signature Shell Lace Structure, a “single-surface structural technology designed and developed through a decade of research for architectural and engineering applications,” and prototyped using digital design software and 3D printing.
Tracheal stents are commonly used to support transplants of the trachea and to treat collapsed airways in cases of throat cancer, trauma, and old age. Stents are typically manufactured as a non-tailored tubular mesh. Tonkin Liu’s stent design is c-shaped rather than tubular, with the aim of adapting better to the individual shape of each patient’s throat. The C-shaped design unfurls once inserted, creating a strong fit inspired by the geometric principles of Calla Lily petals. The device is manufactured from medical grade silicon, with a perforated surface allowing for breathability and drug-delivery to the trachea tissues.

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