The printed trachea
In an effort to provide a novel option for tracheal reconstruction, Rehmani et al. demonstrate the successful use of a composite 3D bioengineered tracheal graft in porcine models for clinical use in patients with long segment tracheal defects (1). Historically, grafts such as silicone tubes, dermal grafts, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) grafts, aortic allograft, and cadaveric grafts have enjoyed limited success due to lack of availability, size mismatch, poor vascularization, stenosis, and potential need for immunosuppression (2,3). Nevertheless, recent advances in bioengineering have made it possible to create a customized conduit that has the dynamic rigidity and flexibility of the trachea.