Additive manufacturing: From implants to organs

Tania S Douglas


Additive manufacturing (AM) constructs 3D objects layer by layer under computer control from 3D models. 3D printing is one example of this kind of technology. AM offers geometric flexibility in its products and therefore allows customisation to suit individual needs. Clinical success has been shown with models for surgical planning, implants, assistive devices and scaffold-based tissue engineering. The use of AM to print tissues and organs that mimic nature in structure and function remains an elusive goal, but has the potential to transform personalised medicine, drug development and scientific understanding of the mechanisms of disease. 

Author's affiliations

Tania S Douglas, Deputy Dean for Research, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

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Additive manufacturing; Tissue engineering; Implants; 3D printing; Rapid prototyping

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2014;104(6):408-409. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.7915

Article History

Date submitted: 2014-01-05
Date published: 2014-05-12

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