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Written by Dr Atheer Awad

Three-dimensional (3D) printing is transforming manufacturing paradigms within healthcare. The vat photopolymerization 3D printing technologies combine the benefits of high resolution and favourable printing speed, offering a sophisticated approach to fabricate bespoke objects.

In our recent review paper, we gave a comprehensive overview of the different vat polymerization techniques, their unique applications, material examples and the advantages they provide within healthcare. The technical challenges and safety concerns presented by these technologies were also discussed.

The superior feature resolution and excellent surface finish obtained using vat photopolymerization 3D printing are particularly beneficial for the development of novel drug delivery approaches and medical devices. These technologies enable the creation of drug-laden products with exceptional structural and functional designs, which cannot be produced using conventional production methods or other printing technologies. As example, a valuable use of vat photopolymerization could include the design and engineering of drug delivery devices for organ targeted treatments. This could be achieved by combining 3D scanning to obtain real-time images of patient organs and utilising them for the fabrication of patient-specific systems.

It is forecast that the adoption of 3D printing could pave the way for a personalised health system, advancing from traditional treatments pathways towards digital healthcare.

Read our review in detail here: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jconrel.2020.10.008