For some time now, advances in 3D printing have provided a variety of industry sectors with new methods of working and it seems that the 3D printing in healthcare is also reaping the benefits. Through a variety of 3D printing in healthcare projects, this month we are investigating how this revolutionary method of manufacturing is helping to grow medical evolution.
Advances of 3D Printing in healthcare
3D printing & Pharmaceuticals – 3D printing is shifting the pharmaceutical industry away from mass production and more towards tailored drugs which can be individually created for patients, based on their medical requirements. This opportunity could benefit patients, pharmacists, and the industry itself as with a bespoke approach, medication can be printed onsite, in exact doses and with multiple medications being produced in just a single form. Further to this, the shape of the drugs, plus their texture and flavour can also be custom-made.
3D printing and plastic implants – Recently, a 40-year-old woman in Sweden, was the first to receive a repair to her skull made from a plastic called PEEK. It is hoped that PEEK plastic could move 3D printing in healthcare from the manufacturing industry and into on-site medical labs, whereby implants are made as required. Additionally, 3D printing for orthopaedic use such as orthopaedic load bearing implants for hip, knee and spine implants is rapidly becoming the most popular method of replacement surgery.
3D bio printing – 3D bioprinting has the potential to mass produce organs which could solve the organ transplant crisis. With research into cell structure, approaches towards replicating organs within the human body are being realised. Rather than printing solid components, bio printing 3D print forms such as liquids and gels formed from living material.
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