3D-printed breast implants

New 3D-printed technologies may soon replace silicones in breast reconstruction.  

One company uses hydrogel to 3D-print a soft implant material that can be absorbed by fat cells in around six to nine months.  Another company is also working on something similar, but uses a special collagen bioink extracted from tobacco leaves, which are genetically engineered to produce human collagen.  A third company, however, has a different approach.  It uses a 3D-printed cage made from degradable biopolymer with a small flap underneath the breast area that can grow tissue to fill the cage.  The body will, later on, absorb the cage.

These new technologies that will soon start clinical trials may replace silicones from breast reconstruction operations if they prove safe and eliminate issues that come with silicones.

Will this finally be a safer and healthier alternative, especially for breast cancer survivors?  Let us know your thoughts.  

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