2018 Research Live! Parinaz Fathi: 3D-Printed Gastrointestinal Stents

>>All right, hi everyone. My name is Parinaz and I will be presenting
about 3D printed gastrointestinal stints. So, many of you have probably
heard about 3D printing. But, for those who are not familiar with exactly
how it works, basically, you have a polymer or plastic 3D printing filament, which,
your 3D printer heats it up, then, it extrudes it into thin strips side by side
and layer by layer until you get your 3D object. Now, people have been using 3D
printing for all kinds of crazy things. But, I’m especially interested in
using it for personalized medicine. And, one example of a way that we
can do that is for the treatment of gastrointestinal tract
perforation and obstructions. Basically, what can happen is that
sometimes your intestine will get some kind of an obstruction or it will
get a kind of hole in it. Now, when this happens, what’s in the
intestine can actually fall out into the body. And, as you can imagine, that’s
really not ideal in any way. And, that can lead to infections
and even to death. So, when this happens, surgeons actually have to
go in and take that part of the small intestine that has the hole or obstruction, they remove it and then they reattach the two
good parts of the intestine. Now, the issue is, even at the interface
where they are reattaching the intestines to each other, that can also
allow for some leakage. So, we’re looking to solve that
problem using 3D printed stints. And, to do that, I am interested
in taking biodegradable polymers, which can degrade inside the body and form
the 3D printing filament with those polymers. At the same time, we can use CAT
scans or CT images of the patient to determine the exact size of the
stint that is needed for each patient. Then, we take that information,
we put it into a 3D printer, and we can obtain customized
biodegradable stints. So, the idea is that, when the surgeon goes
in and removes that part of the intestine that has the problem, before they reattach
the two remaining parts of the intestine, they can place the stint within the intestine. That stint will allow the intestine to heal
over time and the stint will also degrade so that people don’t have
to have multiple surgeries. So, you can see that we were
actually able to do this. And, we took our polymer deposit that we had
made and we formed a 3D printing filament. And we were able to 3D print these stints. We were also able to show this in, sorry,
Ex vivo in intestines that we took from pigs and also even In vivo in live pigs. So, what we actually found was that,
when we put our intestine, sorry, when we put our stint inside the intestine, even
if we left a big gaping hole in the intestine, the stint still did not allow leakage to occur. So, if you injected liquid from one end
of the intestine, the liquid would come out the other end without
anything leaking out into the body. So, this is pretty promising. And, I think, actually, in the future
we will see a lot more things like this where you can have 3D printing to
develop personalized medicine for people. And, I think that this will
become very common in the future. Thank you.

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