May 14, 2019

Could 3D Printing Tissue Scaffolds Improve Nipple Reconstruction?

Researchers from the Queensland University of Technology propose 3D printing tissue-engineered constructs as a graft to assist in nipple reconstruction for women who've undergone a mastectomy.

Researchers from Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane are proposing using 3D printing to improve outcomes in mastectomies.

They suggest doing this by creating tissue-engineered constructs to use as a graft in nipple reconstruction for women who have undergone a mastectomy.

In the US, there is a one in eight chance that a woman will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Many women who are diagnosed or are at high-risk of the disease choose to have a mastectomy. As a result, nipple reconstruction is common, but there is not just one obvious method.

In a paper published in the journal Tissue Engineering, the Australian researchers reviewed the many nipple reconstruction techniques from simple skin flap surgical methods to a modern 3D printed scaffold approach.

They concluded that tissue engineering and regenerative medicine could hugely improve nipple reconstruction and propose a method for 3D printing scaffolds.

“Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine have the potential to dramatically improve current practices regarding nipple reconstruction,” said Louis Calder, Tissue Engineering co-editor-in-chief. ” This review paper provides an invaluable summary of current research and an informative roadmap for future research to improve these reconstruction techniques with innovative biofabrication technologies.”

From Skin Flaps to 3D Printed Scaffolds

The article “Nipple Reconstruction: A Regenerative Medicine Approach using 3-D Printed Tissue Scaffolds” was written by Dietmar Hutmacher, of Queensland University of Technology, and colleagues.

It explains that a novel technique which uses 3D printing to create biomaterial scaffolds from multipotent stem cells may already be “technologically possible” to clinically trial.

“A TEC-based approach to nipple reconstruction is now within reach given the recent advancements in biomaterials, additive manufacturing, and lipofilling; however, before clinical trials can commence, further research into the potential carcinogenic effects of ASCs (adipose-derived stem cells) is necessary,” concludes the paper.

For more on 3D printing and advancements in breast cancer care and treatment, check out these stories:

Source: Medical Xpress

License: The text of "Could 3D Printing Tissue Scaffolds Improve Nipple Reconstruction?" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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