Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

David Rocheleau


Tracheobronchial malacia is a commonly under-diagnosed condition that results in difficulty breathing. The use of a tracheobronchial stent is the best course of treatment for patients whose quality of life has deteriorated due to malacia; unfortunately stents need replacing after issues with inflammation, migration, or eventual stent-breakdown resulting in fistula formation.

The purpose of this thesis is to use three-dimensional (3D) printing technology to improve on existing stents through designing and printing a bioresorbable/biodegradable tracheobronchial stent that can treat tracheobronchial malacia. This was undertaken by testing three biologically favorable materials, type I collagen, polycaprolactone (PCL), and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), with desirable qualities that may result in producing stents with idealized properties. These materials underwent print-compatibility testing to determine whether, following a simple tubular stent geometry similar to the Dumon silicone stent, these materials can be manufactured into a prototype stent via innovative 3D printing methods. The resulting stents were mechanically tested and compared to the industry standard Dumon silicone stent.

We demonstrated that PCL is fused deposition modeling (FDM) printing-compatible, that TPU is potentially viable as a silicone alternative that is biologically degradable, and that type I collagen can potentially be cured, using injection molding with 3D-printed molds, into a resorbable, yet stable simple stent for implantation.