A University of Sydney student, Jesse Xu has received a PhD Scholarship from the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, funded through a kind donation*. Jesse’s PhD focusses on developing personalised airway stents using 3D printing technology.
Airway stents are sometimes inserted post-surgery to maintain lung structure and keep the airways open. Jesse explains that there has been little to no change to the design of airway stents since 1965. The current stents are “one-size, fits all” resulting in patients coughing them up, or integration into the surrounding tissue making removal almost impossible.
Jesse aims to develop an innovative platform that can produce personalised stents based on the patient’s airway CT scans that are conducted routinely. This will improve quality of life for patients with Lung Cancer and Tracheobronchomalacia, it will also significantly reduce the burden on the healthcare system as the current stents costs thousands of dollars. With an integrated 3D-printing platform in a surgery or operating theatre, the cost per stent can be reduced to cents.
Jesse's project is one of many that will be run from the new state-of-the-art Woolcock Centre for Lung Cancer Research in Glebe, Sydney.
* This scholarship was awarded in memory of Sheila Jacobson.