Title: Polymer-based stents produced by rapid prototyping and tooling

Authors: Chu Sing Lim, Wei Meng Chiang, Ker Ser Ang, Chee Kai Chua, Wan Sing Ng, Gin Boay Chai

Addresses: School of Mechanical and Production Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 639798, Singapore. ' School of Mechanical and Production Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 639798, Singapore. ' School of Mechanical and Production Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 639798, Singapore. ' School of Mechanical and Production Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 639798, Singapore. ' School of Mechanical and Production Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 639798, Singapore. ' School of Mechanical and Production Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 639798, Singapore

Abstract: Implantable stents are deployed in medical therapy to ease obstructed luminal organs, thereby effectively restoring the flow in organs. This paper presents two examples where Rapid Prototyping (RP) and Rapid Tooling (RT) techniques were used to fabricate polymeric stents intended to relieve constricted respiratory tracts and colons. In the first example, a customised tracheobronchial stent was produced. This was particularly useful with patients whose airway anatomy and/or lesion deviate from the norm. In the second case, a stent was produced as palliative to occlusions in the colorectal system. This is particularly useful when only a short-term scaffold is required as opposed to long-term stenting. Results from the two examples demonstrate that there is potential for suitable stents to be directly and rapidly fabricated for medical intervention, particularly where off-the-shelf stents are for the above reasons deemed unsuitable.

Keywords: tracheobronchial stents; respiratory management; colorectal stents; colorectal management; rapid prototyping; silicone vacuum casting; rapid tooling; polymeric stents; respiratory tracts; colon; breathing problems; medical engineering; biomedical engineering.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2004.005702

International Journal of Product Development, 2004 Vol.1 No.2, pp.172 - 182

Available online: 24 Nov 2004 *

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