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What Is The Future Development Direction Of Medical 3D Printing Technology

Feb 25, 2020

The domestic medical industry's application of 3D printing technology began in the late 1980s. It was mainly used to rapidly manufacture 3D medical models. At that time, 3D printing technology was mainly used to help doctors communicate with patients, accurately judge the condition, and perform surgical planning. It can be said thatChina's medical industry has a long history of exploring the application of 3D printing technology, and it has gone deeper with the development of 3D printing technology.

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In recent years, with the development of 3D printing technology and the increase in demand for precision and personalized medical treatment, the application of 3D printing technology in the medical industry has achieved significant development in both breadth and depth. In terms of breadth of application, from the initial rapid manufacturing of medical models, it has gradually developed to 3D printing directly manufacturing hearing aid shells, implants, complex surgical instruments and 3D printed medicines. In terms of depth, the development of 3D printed inanimate medical devices has evolved toward the printing of biologically active artificial tissues and organs. This article mainly introduces the latest progress of medical 3D printing technology in the following 5 fields.


1. Surgery planning model. Preoperative planning is very important for high-risk and difficult surgery. Traditionally, the acquisition of patient data through imaging equipment such as CT and magnetic resonance (MRI) is the basis for pre-planning surgeons, but the medical images obtained are two-dimensional, and then the software needs to be used to convert the two-dimensional data into realistic ones. 3D data. The 3D printer can directly print the three-dimensional model, which can not only assist doctors in accurate surgical planning, improve the success rate of surgery, but also facilitate the intuitive communication between doctors and patients on surgical plans. In addition, even if the treatment fails, 3D printing can provide a traceable basis for both doctors and patients.

2. Implants, some implants are manufactured by casting or traditional metal processing methods, and molds need to be manufactured first. For only one or a small number of implants, the production cost of a single piece is very expensive. For special implants with complex structures, it is difficult to use conventional techniques. The 3D printing technology used to manufacture orthopedic implants can effectively reduce the manufacturing cost of customized, small batch implants, and can produce more complex implants. In recent years, the medical industry has increasingly used metal 3D printing technology (direct metal laser sintering or electron beam melting) to design and manufacture medical implants. With the cooperation of doctors and engineers, the use of 3D printing technology can produce more advanced and qualified implants and prostheses.


3. Bone replacement. For patients who need to remove bones, this is undoubtedly great news. Today, 3D printers can print titanium alloy "bone" for replacing human bones. At present, dozens of kinds of titanium alloy human "bone" printed by 3D printer have been developed. Among them, cervical intervertebral fusion cage, cervical vertebral artificial vertebra and artificial hip joint have entered clinical observation stage.

Compared with traditional metal bones, the 3D printed "bone" is not only very accurate in size, but also has pores for the bones to grow (printing out a network structure). Adjacent bones will enter the pores during the growth process, making the The bone and the false bone are firmly integrated into one body, which shortens the recovery period of the patient. This technique also uses the above-mentioned CT scan, three-dimensional reconstruction technology, and then uses a metal 3D printer to print out titanium alloy bones.

4. Skin repair. Some researchers have studied the application of different extracellular matrices to skin 3D printing technology. This can maximize the skin's activity and other natural properties, so that it can repair damaged skin after transplantation and print skin and normal skin. Effectively blend. Human skin fibroblasts and keratinocytes were directly deposited on the scaffold, and a good skin tissue regeneration effect was obtained. A multilayer collagen scaffold was made using electrostatic spinning technology.