Pediatric Airway Stent Designed to Facilitate Mucus Transport and Atraumatic Removal
This work presents a novel airway stent system for treating tracheobronchomalacia in infants and children. The uncovered helical NiTi stent provides radial airway support while allowing ciliary assisted mucus transport. Its helical shape resists migration while also enabling atraumatic removal despite epithelialization using an extraction technique similar to removing a corkscrew from a cork. A mechanics model of stent compression along with tracheal phantom experiments are used to optimize stent design. In-vivo swine experiments demonstrated device safety along with the desired properties of mucus transport, resistance to migration and ease of removal.