3D printing represents a developing technology whose applications in plastic and reconstructive science are only in its dawn, creating devices of limitless customization presenting the possibility for uniquely tailored implantable devices for the individual patient. The advent of tissue engineering presents exciting new possibilities for conventional 3D printing in that novel approaches to reconstruction can be attempted with bioactive molecules and tissues for advanced wound healing, thereby resulting in a dramatic reduction in implantable device morbidity with improved esthetic results. The marriage of these two technologies has resulted in the creation of bioprosthetics, a field in which bioactive molecules are structured into implantable prosthetic devices through 3D printing of cells harvested or engineered in the laboratory. The historical context of conventional 3D printing modalities as well as tissue engineering is presented for discussion in the greater context of the creation of modern bioprosthetics. An outline of common materials, methods, and their utility is also introduced to serve as a framework to better understand the continuing advancements in implantable devices with examples of continuing discoveries discussed where appropriate.
- 3D printing
- Plastic surgery Reconstructive surgery
- Tissue engineering Bioprosthetics
ASJC Scopus subject areas