Medgadget has covered quite a number of applications of 3D printing in medicine, but the field is developing so rapidly that a couple researchers feel that clinicians generally are not fully aware of the possibilities. 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, allows for creation of variously shaped objects made of unconventional materials that can have properties that are almost impossible to produce using traditional methods.
Jason Chuen, Director of Vascular Surgery at Austin Health and a Clinical Fellow at the University of Melbourne, and Dr Jasamine Coles-Black, a clinician at Austin Health and research engagement officer at the University of Melbourne, point to five areas that they feel are where 3D printing will have the most impact:
- Bioprinting and Tissue Engineering – production of replacement tissues and organs
- Pharmacology – new delivery methods for drugs promise to improve compliance and make things easier and simpler for patients
- Surgical Rehearsal – preparation for complex surgeries can be enhanced significantly using quickly printed 3D models of relevant anatomy
- Customized Prostheses – highly detailed, accurately produced prosthetic devices that perfectly fit each individual user may end up revolutionizing the industry
- Distributed Production – areas currently poorly served by medical manufacturers and distributors may turn to producing their own devices locally
Here’s a link to their study in The Medical Journal of Australia: Three-dimensional printing in medicine…