Clinical Application of Three-Dimensionally Printed Biomaterial Polycaprolactone (PCL) in Augmentation Rhinoplasty



This clinical study aimed to investigate the safety and surgical outcome of three-dimensionally (3D) fabricated polycaprolactone (PCL) mesh in rhinoplasty. In particular, this study explored how a 3D-printed PCL mesh performs as a bioabsorbable scaffold after a long period following implantation.


A retrospective review of 101 patients who received primary or secondary rhinoplasty with a PCL mesh was performed. Patient demographics and surgery-related outcomes were examined. Clinical efficacy and safety were evaluated using the Global Aesthetic Improvement Scale at postoperative 18 months. From two revisional cases, a biopsy specimen of implanted PCL was acquired and histopathological analysis was performed.


Of all the patients, 98.0% showed no postoperative infection-related foreign body reaction or distinct abnormal reaction, and the implants were observed to maintain long-term efficacy until 18-month follow-up. In patients who received spreader grafts, significant differences between preoperative and postoperative Cottle sign scores were found. Histopathological analysis showed features of adjacent tissue infiltration into pores of the PCL mesh and regeneration of neo-cartilaginous tissue and collagen around the mesh 20 months after implantation.


This study demonstrates that a novel biodegradable PCL mesh with a 3D structure is a safe and effective material for corrective rhinoplasty because it is easy to use and capable of maintaining its volume in the long term without foreign body response. This biocompatible material will have a wide range of applications as the most suitable alternative to nonabsorbable materials in rhinoplasty and reconstruction surgeries, such as fashioning spreader grafts and septal extension grafts.

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None of the authors has a financial interest in any of the products, devices, or drugs mentioned in this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Young Jin Park or So Young Kim.

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Dr. So Young Kim and Young Jin Park were equally contributed as co-corresponding authors to this article.

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Supplemental Video 1. Surgical implantation technique using PCL mesh for a spreader graft, septal extension graft and columellar strut. (MP4 74936 kb)

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Park, Y.J., Cha, J.H., Bang, S.I. et al. Clinical Application of Three-Dimensionally Printed Biomaterial Polycaprolactone (PCL) in Augmentation Rhinoplasty. Aesth Plast Surg 43, 437–446 (2019).

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  • Rhinoplasty
  • Alloplastic implant
  • 3D PCL mesh