Three-Dimensional Printing in Medicine: Promise and Challenge

Science Insights, 10 August 2016
Volume 2016
Doi: 10.15354/si.16.ps017

Three-Dimensional Printing in Medicine: Promise and Challenge

Joan R. Smith, PhD;* Jennifer Liu, PhD*
Author Affiliations
*: Bioengineering Department, BioGeno Co., Maple Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90091, USA
∆: Correspondence to: Dr. Jennifer Liu, PHD,


Three-dimensional (3D) printing is a producing technique by which objects are created by depositing materials such as powders, plastic, liquids, metal, ceramics or even living cells in layers to provide a 3D object. Medical applications for 3D printing are increasing quickly and are expected to revolutionize health care. The current medical applications of 3D printing can be categorized into a number of categories: creating implants, tissue and organ fabrication; prosthetics, and pharmaceutical research concerning drug discovery and anatomical models. The usage of 3D printing in medicine industry will offer several benefits, such as: the personalization and customization of medical product, drugs, and equipment; cost-effectiveness; and enhanced productivity. But, it should be cautioned that despite recent important and exciting medical advances of 3D printing, notable scientific and regulatory challenges stay and the most transformative applica-tions for this technology, like organ printing, can take time to evolve.

KeywordsThree-dimensional printing; Organ; Transplantation; Medicine; Technology