Opportunities of 3D Printing In Medical Field

By Manufacturing Technology Insights | Thursday, February 07, 2019

3-D printing in medical fieldTime and investment eventually made 3d printing a reality which was once an ambitious pipe dream. Now they are facilitating pharmaceutical companies to create more specific drugs, enabling the rapid production of medical implants, and changing the way medical practitioners plan medical procedures. But the ultimate aim of medical 3D printing is to create a replacement of organs for patients.

 In reality, there is relatively little actual manufacturing being performed with three-dimensional printing today. But on the other side, the technology's ability to turn a computer design into a solid rendering is unrivaled. The additive nature of it means far less raw material waste, promising big cost advantages, as the actual manufacturing takes off. The technology has enormous manufacturing capabilities that are now slowly being realized.

Bioprinting Tissues and Organoids

Bioprinters use a computer-guided pipette to layer living cells, referred to as bio-ink, to create artificial living tissue in a laboratory. These organoids can be used for medical research as they mimic organs on a miniature scale. They are also being trialed as alternatives to human organ transplants as they are less expensive. Skin makes the perfect candidate for 3D printed reconstruction.

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Surgery Preparation With The Use of 3D Printed Models

3D printing in the medical field can create patient-specific organ replicas that surgeon can use to practice on before performing complicated surgeries. This is a proven technique to speed up procedures and minimize trauma for patients. This type of procedures has successfully performed in surgeries ranging from full face transplant to spinal procedures.

3D Printing of Surgical Instrument

Using 3D printers, sterile surgical instruments like forceps, hemostats, scalpel handles, and clamps can be produced. It is possible to make precise and very small instruments that can be used to operate on tiny areas without causing unnecessary damage to the patient. The production costs of 3D printing instruments are significantly lower when compared to traditional manufacturing methods.

Custom Made Prosthetics

3D printing can be used to produce prosthetic limbs that are customized to suit and fit for the wearer. The process is significantly faster than the traditional route which makes amputees wait for a long period to receive prosthetics. 3D printed prosthetics are much cheaper and offer the same functionality as the traditionally manufactured prosthetics. It also allows the patients to design a prosthetic that corresponds directly to their requirements.

3D printing will become a common clinical practice in the near future, ensuring advantages to healthcare organizations. Establishing a smart implementation model can help invade the technological landscape.

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