Have developed 3D printed stents that could ease the symptoms of esophagitis in radiotherapy patients. While stents are sometimes used to treat esophageal diseases, they can cause recurrent dysphagia, and don’t directly treat inflammation. To combat these adverse effects, the scientists theorized that a hydrogel could be loaded into a biodegradable stent, serving to treat patients without causing further discomfort. In order to fabricate their additive stents quickly and easily, the researchers deployed a ‘rotating rod’ system armed with multiple extrusion heads. When the scientists deployed their stent within an immortalized human model, the esophageal cells exhibited a cell viability of more than 90 percent over 14 days. The researchers’ findings are detailed in their paper titled “Therapeutic effect of decellularized extracellular matrix-based hydrogel for radiation esophagitis by 3D printed esophageal stent.” The study was co-authored by Dong-Heon Ha, Suhun Chae, Jae Yeon Lee, Jae Yun Kim, Jungbin Yoon, Tugce Sen, Sung-Woo Lee, Hak Jae Kim, Jae Ho Cho and Dong-Woo Cho. Featured image shows the POSTECH team’s stents during the 3D printing process.

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