Biomimicry and digital technology combine to advance material from architectural to medical uses
Tonkin Liu with Arup
Contract value: undisclosed
For use in the human trachea (windpipe), Shell Lace Stent uses biomimicry to abstract principles from natural structures. With its partner Arup, the practice has developed a digital design and manufacture technology to make architectural sheet materials perform as efficiently as natural structures – this is a new application. The stent design is C-shaped rather than tubular, better adapted to the unique physiology of each patient. It is designed to be manufactured from medical grade silicon and has a perforated surface. The stent is inserted in its inverted position, and then unfurled to provide a flexible and strong fit, with a natural outward pressure. Tonkin Liu is working with research partners and medical experts to bring the innovation to market.