From prosthetics to creating human cells, 3D printing has made a huge impact on the healthcare industry. The technology is no longer used for just prototyping. However, it is becoming more mainstream as we speak. With personalized pharmaceuticals, tissue engineering, and more, additive manufacturing has opened newer avenues for patients needing personalized care.
The market has already experienced the vast potential of the technology within healthcare. And, the researchers are ready to tune into the bigger possibilities that lie ahead of us. Sooner, we may see 3D printed organ transplant at a mass level.
While the trends do point us to a new beginning, why not check out how. Here are some of the trends within healthcare that are most affected with the introduction of 3D printing.
3D Printing Saving Lives During COVID – 19
How can we forget the time when the pandemic spread exponentially around the globe leaving individuals short of essentials such as masks, face shields, and more? In between the rising demand for critical health equipment and the surging shortage of supplies created huge gaps that the healthcare team felt difficult to meet. However, 3D Printing allowed for faster production of such supplies, easing the pressure that seemed impossible to curb for some time.
3D printing business giants such as Carbon, 3D systems took part in putting the problem to an end. And, designed the open-source PPE designs to help healthcare workers from around the globe.
Creation of Personalized Medicine
There are a lot of things that 3D printing can enable within the pharmaceutical space. To begin with, the creation of personalized medicine is one of the major breakthroughs within the healthcare industry. And, using 3D printing, this can be achieved not only within pharmacy level but industrial scale too.
With 3D printers working at pharmacies as well as hospitals, it would be easier for physicians, and pharmacists to design doses with proper delivery systems depending on the individuals’ body size, lifestyle, age as well as sex. Hence, the medicines won’t only become personal to every patient’s case, however, they will be cheaper too.
And, this is not just a goal for the future but is already in action. Currently, Spritam, a 3D printed pharmaceutical company is working for the treatment of epilepsy through utilizing personalized medicines created using 3D printers. If you’d like to learn more about these 3D Printers, Pick3DPrinter has a list of the best SLA and Resin 3D Printers that are used in the pharmaceutical industry.
3D Printing Impacting Regenerative Medicine
Without a doubt, we can deem that the life expectancy of people has increased. Thanks to the medical advances that are only growing with time. However, with the increased population, the crisis for organ shortage is one of the most frustrating issues healthcare isn’t able to deal with so far.
Looking at the data from the past, the number of patients waiting for organ transplants has almost doubled since 2013. On the other hand, the number of donors available to donate organs hasn’t moved considerably as per the HRSA, 2020 report.
Also, it is important to note that regenerative medicine isn’t a very simple industry. However, it involves complex areas. To create organs using 3D printing, one needs scaffolds, cells, biomaterials, or one must combine different biomaterials with cells. This need not provide the perfect match in the first attempt and may need various trials.
However, if perfectly mastered, the technology can offer huge perks over transplants needing a donor for saving lives.
In short, 3D printing has been able to initiate the most challenging advancement within the healthcare niche by affirming the possibilities of printing multilayered objects either tissues or organs from soft biomaterials. This could be living cells along with the biomimetic synthetic polymers.
Although the possibilities are still to be perfected for complex organs such as the liver or heart, the successful transplant of simple organs, for instance, the bladder has already begun. The transplant for the bladder has been happening since the early 2000s.
This significant development paves the way for 3D bioprinted complex organs that could subsequently be transplanted to the patients’ bodies.
Higher Success Rate for Clinical Trials
For new medicines, pharmacists, researchers, and experts put huge efforts. And, it may take years for the R&D team to come up with successful clinical trials. With a greater number of instances where drugs often fail to suit the patients’ bodies at later stages, the healthcare industry is experiencing a major R&D crisis.
However, with the creation of 3D bioprinted tissues and organs, it is now possible to expedite clinical trials without needing volunteers for testing. This has significantly surged the success rate of clinical trials.
Using bioprinting technology, experts are able to create fully operational organs printed using human cells. These organs are exposed to the test drugs to check their efficacy instead of directly putting patients’ health at risk.
Also, this eliminates the need for animals along with human tests. Hence, resolving two different problems at the same time: No more damage to animals’ existence for the sake of human survival as well as speeding the R&D process for faster development of medicines.
Healthcare is one of the most crucial industries of all, helping save lives. However, it is not as easy as it seems to meet the needs of patients at all times. With the difference in individuals’ need for care and facing newer health problems, it becomes imperative to find ways for effective medication at a faster rate.
And, 3D printing has the potential not only to create drugs that are effective, however, to expedite the R&D process for faster production of newer medication. Alongside, the possibilities of eliminating the need for donors for organ transplants could really change the entire fate of the healthcare industry.
Not only more lives could be touched, but individuals do not have to go through the stress of waiting for an organ donor for months and years. Sometimes, even failing to survive while waiting for an organ match.
Therefore, 3D printing is definitely impacting the healthcare industry at length by offering such technological advancements. From general problems to core issues, the technology is changing how the medical niche worked before to resolve challenges. And, these changes are actually working efficiently in favor of the human race.