Setting a future research agenda for 3D printed biomedical implants

28 February 2014

Is it possible to create custom-made biomedical implants with a 3D printer? Fully compatible with the human body? It sounds great but unfortunately it is to date not yet possible. The VU University Medical Center and DPI (Dutch Polymer Institute) are going to take up this challenge and will try to make it possible to print biomedical implants in the future.

The first hurdle in reaching this ultimate goal, will be taken on 16 April during a meeting where experts of several disciplines will share their challenges. Experts in the field of polymers, imaging technology, 3D printing, tissue engineering and surgery will share their stories, knowledge and expertise upon this subject. The goal of this meeting is identifying research challenges and to establish a research consortium that will focus on set research goals.

The benefits of 3D printing for implants is that they can be custom-made, are less expensive, have improved performance and take far less time to produce. Focus of the intended research will be on biocompatible materials which have the ability to grow along with the rest of the body and materials that will dissolve in the body overtime (controlled or spontaneously) and stimulate the body to take over the function of the implant.  

Because the range of medical implants is very broad, this meeting and the first stages of the research focus on oral and maxillofacial implants.

For more information about this workshop, please send an e-mail to