3D and 4D printing in the fight against breast cancer

Sofia Moroni, Luca Casettari, Dimitrios Lamprou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Breast cancer is the second most common cancer worldwide, characterized by a high incidence and mortality rate. Despite the advances achieved in cancer management, improvements in the quality of life of breast cancer survivors are urgent. Moreover, view the heterogeneity that char-acterizes tumors and patients, focusing on individuality is fundamental. In this context, 3D printing (3DP) and 4D printing (4DP) techniques allow for a patient-center approach. At present, 3DP applications against breast cancer are focused on three main aspects: treatment, tissue regeneration, and recovery of the physical appearance. Scaffolds, drug-loaded implants, and prosthetics have been successfully manufactured; however, some challenges must be overcome to shift to clinical practice. The introduction of the fourth dimension has led to an increase in the degree of complexity and customization possibilities. However, 4DP is still in the early stages, thus research is needed to prove its feasibility in healthcare applications. This review article provides an overview of current approaches for breast cancer management, including standard treatments and breast reconstruction strategies. The benefits and limitations of 3DP and 4DP technologies are discussed, as well as their application in the fight against breast cancer. Future perspectives and challenges are outlined to encourage and promote AM technologies in real-world practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article number568
Number of pages20
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2022


  • 4D printing
  • 3D printing
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Breast Cancer
  • Implants
  • Drug delivery
  • drug eluting
  • biomaterials
  • bioinks


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