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Maxillofacial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

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Bone grafting has been considered the gold standard for hard tissue reconstructive surgery and is widely used for large mandibular defect reconstruction. However, the midface encompasses delicate structures that are surrounded by a complex bone architecture, which makes bone grafting using traditional methods very challenging. Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting is a developing technology that is derived from the evolution of additive manufacturing. It enables precise development of a scaffold from different available biomaterials that mimic the shape, size, and dimension of a defect without relying only on the surgeon’s skills and capabilities, and subsequently, may enhance surgical outcomes and, in turn, patient satisfaction and quality of life.


This review summarizes different biomaterial classes that can be used in 3D bioprinters as bioinks to fabricate bone scaffolds, including polymers, bioceramics, and composites. It also describes the advantages and limitations of the three currently used 3D bioprinting technologies: inkjet bioprinting, micro-extrusion, and laser-assisted bioprinting.


Although 3D bioprinting technology is still in its infancy and requires further development and optimization both in biomaterials and techniques, it offers great promise and potential for facial reconstruction with improved outcome.


Published version. Maxillofacial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Vol. 42 (June 2020): 18. DOI. © 2020 Springer. Used with permission.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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