Applications of 3D printing in medicine: 5 Years later
5 years ago, we described the emergence of 3D printing in medicine. It was about 3D printing of anatomical structures, patient-specific drilling guides, cutting templates and implants and printing of living cells, growth factors and biomaterials (‘bioprinting’). Surgeons are increasingly making use of 3D printing possibilities in preparation of surgeries on patients with complicated anatomies. Using tangible 3D models, it is easier for surgeons to prepare for surgeries and discussions with patients. They can also use 3D models as a tool to help with the training of young surgeons. Permanent titanium implants are increasingly being printed. Bioprinting is still in its infancy and there are no direct clinical applications yet. As we already predicted 5 years ago, many hurdles still have to be taken before broad clinical application of bioprinted products will become a reality.
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