Gastroschisis is a birth defect in which some of the baby’s intestines end up outside the body, protruding through a ventral opening near the navel. In developed countries this is a treatable condition that typically requires a series of surgeries and a special bag that holds the intestines in a sterile environment while they slowly descend into the abdomen. In poorly resourced nations, the equipment, including the bag, are often cost prohibitive.
Students at Rice University have developed their own bag, made of stitched silicone, that is considerably cheaper to make than commercially available devices. It uses a 3D printed ring whose diameter can be adjusted to match the patient’s needs. This way only a single design of the device can be copied repeatedly while being applicable for different patients and their needs.
The idea was inspired by the needs of a Ugandan physician and the new device is already at a point that the students are looking at receiving proper approval to send it to Uganda for limited trials.
Here’s a Rice video about the project: