3D printing is an additive manufacturing technology whereby material is distributed according to a predesigned model on a layer-by-layer basis to build a physical 3D model reflecting the patient’s anatomy. The three most frequent uses of this additive manufacturing technology in biomedicine are:
- Manufacture of anatomical models to improve surgical planning.
- Creation of custom-made surgical instruments, clinical management guides and intraoperative equipment.
- Manufacture of custom-made prostheses and implants.
The new Biodonostia HRI Multidisciplinary 3D Printing Platform (3DPP), launched in December 2018, is made up of two interdependent units:
- The “3D Biomodelling Unit”, with its headquarters at the Donostialdea IHO, provides its service in the area of biomodels, understood as the modelling of disease (mainly tumours) in order to improve the surgical approach and patient operating times, as well as to personalise prosthetic implants.
- The “3D Biomanufacturing Unit”, with its headquarters on the second floor of the Institute, provides its service in the area of bioprinting cells and tissues for use in approaches based on regenerative medicine.