3D Printing in Healthcare Emerging Applications | Organ Printing

In this article, 3D Printing in Healthcare Emerging Applications in the Bio-medical industries and different organs printed are explained in detail.

Dental industry

01-3D printing dentistry - 3D printing dental ceramics

The dental industry gains through 3D printing technologies for hospitals, implants and orthodontics. Certified dentists now have access to 3D printers and templates can be produced in a clinical environment. A CT scan is used for a defined form based on the morphology of the patient, and a missing tooth is quickly manufactured and replaced. In the production of aligners, braces, dental implants and crowns, 3D printing is applied. Dental products with 3D printing materials, such as PLA (polylactic acid), polycaprolactone ( PCL) and polyglycolide and acrylates (PGA), are made utilizing biocompatible materials. The inclusion of additives such as quaternary ammonium salts will produce dental implants with antibacterial properties. Amos Dudley an American student at 23 years old, he created his own orthodontic aligners, when he was a pupil in New Jersey College.  He used institute machines for scanning and printing his teeth templates. For moulding, non-toxic plastics have been used and 12 clear aligners have been developed. Amos was able to use the Stratasys Dimension 1200 3D printer, use an alginate powder and PermaStone combination as the resin for printing the aligners that were checked on his teeth. Although it was not a simple matter, Amos proved that 3D orthodontic material for the alignment of teeth was capable of printing.

01-first printed orthodontic aligner at new jersey college

3D Printing Medical Breakthrough

01-3D printed organs - 3d printing medical breakthrough

Additive manufacturing in the healthcare industry has been frequently used and will continue to have an effect on scientific research in the future. Many difficulties, such as legislative issues, insufficient resources and incoherent reliability, exist. The FDA approval is needed for additive manufacturing of biomedical products in the recent years that may be lengthy and difficult to achieve. In order to achieve high quality, high-performing additive manufactured products, biocompatibility materials will require the new development and new techniques. In addition, additive production materials mechanical properties need to be well assessed to allow reliable and reproducible compliance with the ultimate characteristics. The work in this field would be exciting to even further advancement with on-demand and patient-specific application areas. For instance it can contribute to rapid outcomes by designing patient-specific implants following a CT scan. Complex components with superior mechanical and biocompatible properties may be manufactured upon request and, where needed with multifunction’s. Additive Manufacturing R&D can help improve bio-printed tissue and scaffolding in clinical applications in order to reduce the tissue engineering costs. The field of 3D printing for biomedical applications will be revolutionized with the manufacture of additive artificial organ, which includes multifunctional features ( Ex. bionic ear developed at Princeton and Johns Hopkins University, USA).

01-bionic ear developed at Princeton and johns hopkins university

3D Bio Printing | How does 3D Bioprinting Work | 3D Bioprinting Organs

01-3D bioprinting - How does 3D Bioprinting Work

3D Bio Printing

The biomedical industry now accounts for 11% of the Additive Manufacturing market share and this will be a major force for Additive Manufacturing 3D Bio Printing growth and development. The interests in 3D printing to manufacture strong tissues (bones, teeth, ligaments) and soft tissues (organs, skin, as well as others) have been growing since the early 2000s. The production of prosthetic limbs and membranes with complicated geometries is particularly significant for gene therapy, where such a porous membrane is implanted in the patient to serve as a framework for tissue to regenerate while the implant slowly degrades with in body. For the patient ‘s lifespan other devices must stay in place. 3D printing enables the quick fabrication of custom prosthetics and controlled architecture implants.

What is Bioprinting

Polymers used in the fabrication of tissues and organs must have specific functions to (1) enable cell attachment and migration, (2) follow growth factors and waste products, (3) retain their form even though cells grow and (4) preserve appropriate mechanical properties.

How does 3D Bioprinting Work

The structure can be translated into STL file formats by x-ray, MRI, and CT pictures. The STL file can be machine interpreted and a specification focused on the individual needs of the patient can be created. Metals are widely used for bone repair prosthetics. The ABS and PLA polymers used in the production of scaffolds are more appropriate. Interestingly, medical materials should allow cell adhesion, growth and differentiation.

01-3D printing in medicines - What is Bioprinting

3D Bioprinting Materials

Present feedstocks for biomaterials are limited to human tissue, which has strong resistance to and heavily hydrogenated collagen , gelatin, fibrin and chitosan. Such soft natural polymers face the biggest obstacle of their poor mechanical ability. In the field of biomedical engineering, the main focus has been on developing biopolymer materials to avoid implant rejection and health effects for tissue and scaffold generations with increased flexibility , strength and patient functionality. Many polymer – based mixtures contain patient-isolated living cells which are developed in the laboratory. Such polymers are also called as hydrogels suitable for 3D inkjet printing technology.

1. 3D Printing Techniques: Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM)


  • Poly Lactic Acids (PLA)
  • Poly Caprolactone co Lactide Acid (PCLA)
  • Poly Lactic co Glycolic Acid (PLGA)


Biodegradable Scaffolds – By adding Hyaluronic Acid (HA) as  a filler to improve cell adhesion and mechanical properties

2. 3D Printing Techniques: Inkjet


  • Collagen
  • Alginate
  • Poly Ethylene Glycol (PEG)
  • Fibrin
  • Chitosan


Biodegradable Scaffolds – Could indeed attach cells and fillers to enhance cell adhesion and mechanical properties

3. 3D Printing Techniques: Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)


  • Polycaprolactone (PCL)
  • Methacrylate
  • Copolymers


Biodegradable Scaffolds – Enhance mechanical properties

3D Bioprinting Organs

Implants, prosthetic limbs, dental, dentofacial orthopaedics, hearing aids, and drug-release tissues are a few examples of modern biomedical tools produced through 3D printing.

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