3D printing biomimetic materials and structures for biomedical applications


Over millions of years of evolution, nature has created organisms with overwhelming performances due to their unique materials and structures, providing us with valuable inspirations for the development of next-generation biomedical devices. As a promising new technology, 3D printing enables the fabrication of multiscale, multi-material, and multi-functional three-dimensional (3D) biomimetic materials and structures with high precision and great flexibility. The manufacturing challenges of biomedical devices with advanced biomimetic materials and structures for various applications were overcome with the flourishing development of 3D printing technologies. In this paper, the state-of-the-art additive manufacturing of biomimetic materials and structures in the field of biomedical engineering were overviewed. Various kinds of biomedical applications, including implants, lab-on-chip, medicine, microvascular network, and artificial organs and tissues, were respectively discussed. The technical challenges and limitations of biomimetic additive manufacturing in biomedical applications were further investigated, and the potential solutions and intriguing future technological developments of biomimetic 3D printing of biomedical devices were highlighted.

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The authors acknowledge Arizona State University for the start-up funding support.

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YZ, DJ, XL wrote the sections of introduction, summary, and outlook. WS wrote 3D printing of biomimetic lab-on-chip. YC wrote 3D printing of biomimetic medicine. JR wrote 3D printing of biomimetic microvascular network. HZ wrote 3D printing of biomimetic scaffold-based implants. SX wore 3D printing of artificial organs. All authors discussed and commented on the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Xiangjia Li.

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This review does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Zhu, Y., Joralmon, D., Shan, W. et al. 3D printing biomimetic materials and structures for biomedical applications. Bio-des. Manuf. (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42242-020-00117-0

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  • 3D printing
  • Bioprinting
  • Biomimetic material
  • Functional structures
  • Biomedical applications