Additive Manufacturing of Biomaterials, Tissues, and Organs

Ann Biomed Eng. 2017 Jan;45(1):1-11. doi: 10.1007/s10439-016-1719-y.


The introduction of additive manufacturing (AM), often referred to as three-dimensional (3D) printing, has initiated what some believe to be a manufacturing revolution, and has expedited the development of the field of biofabrication. Moreover, recent advances in AM have facilitated further development of patient-specific healthcare solutions. Customization of many healthcare products and services, such as implants, drug delivery devices, medical instruments, prosthetics, and in vitro models, would have been extremely challenging-if not impossible-without AM technologies. The current special issue of the Annals of Biomedical Engineering presents the latest trends in application of AM techniques to healthcare-related areas of research. As a prelude to this special issue, we review here the most important areas of biomedical research and clinical practice that have benefited from recent developments in additive manufacturing techniques. This editorial, therefore, aims to sketch the research landscape within which the other contributions of the special issue can be better understood and positioned. In what follows, we briefly review the application of additive manufacturing techniques in studies addressing biomaterials, (re)generation of tissues and organs, disease models, drug delivery systems, implants, medical instruments, prosthetics, orthotics, and AM objects used for medical visualization and communication.

Keywords: Biofabrication; Biomaterials; Bioprinting; Drug delivery; Medical devices; Tissue regeneration.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Artificial Organs*
  • Biocompatible Materials*
  • Humans
  • Periodicals as Topic
  • Portraits as Topic
  • Tissue Engineering*


  • Biocompatible Materials