Top surgeon praises Tonkin Liu for 'remarkable' medical device

Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu with the groundbreaking stents

Practice used structural expertise to design shell lace stent

Stephen Lawrence Prize-winning architects Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu have been awarded patent pending status for a new medical aid that applies their structural experience to the needs of patients with life-threatening throat problems.

Tonkin Liu has pioneered the use of structures based on a single-surface shell lace design – such as its Solar Gate sculpture in Hull, completed last year, as well as in pavilions and bridges – in work conducted in partnership with Arup.

Now the practice has created a version of its shell lace structure that is 500 times smaller than the architectural application, for use as a stent to support trachea-transplant patients and people battling collapsed airways as a result of accidents or throat cancer.

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