3D-Printing Technologies for Craniofacial Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, and Regeneration

Ethan L. Nyberg, Ashley L. Farris, Ben P. Hung, Miguel Dias, Juan R. Garcia, Amir H. Dorafshar, Warren L. Grayson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


The treatment of craniofacial defects can present many challenges due to the variety of tissue-specific requirements and the complexity of anatomical structures in that region. 3D-printing technologies provide clinicians, engineers and scientists with the ability to create patient-specific solutions for craniofacial defects. Currently, there are three key strategies that utilize these technologies to restore both appearance and function to patients: rehabilitation, reconstruction and regeneration. In rehabilitation, 3D-printing can be used to create prostheses to replace or cover damaged tissues. Reconstruction, through plastic surgery, can also leverage 3D-printing technologies to create custom cutting guides, fixation devices, practice models and implanted medical devices to improve patient outcomes. Regeneration of tissue attempts to replace defects with biological materials. 3D-printing can be used to create either scaffolds or living, cellular constructs to signal tissue-forming cells to regenerate defect regions. By integrating these three approaches, 3D-printing technologies afford the opportunity to develop personalized treatment plans and design-driven manufacturing solutions to improve aesthetic and functional outcomes for patients with craniofacial defects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-57
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of biomedical engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • 3D-printing
  • Craniofacial implants
  • Facial prosthetics
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Scaffolds
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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