3D printing

3D printing has the potential to revolutionise all aspects of healthcare. We can now print biotissues, artificial limbs, pills, blood vessels, and the list goes on, and it is likely that we will continue to do so.

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, developed a method to 3D-print living skin and blood vessels in November 2019. This advancement is critical for skin grafts for burn victims. NGOs such as Refugee Open Ware and Not Impossible, which 3D-print prosthetics for refugees from war-torn areas, are also assisting patients in need.

This technology is also beneficial to the pharmaceutical industry. Since 2015, FDA-approved 3D-printed drugs have been available, and researchers are now working on 3D-printing “polypills.” These contain multiple layers of drugs to assist patients in adhering to their therapeutic plan. Additionally, dentistry and orthodontics utilise 3D printing. For healthcare, 3D printing facilitated prototyping, customization, research, and manufacturing. Surgeons are capable of recreating patient-specific organs through 3D printing.

 

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