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Three-dimensional printing and pediatric liver disease

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Purpose of review

Enthusiastic physicians and medical researchers are investigating the role of three-dimensional printing in medicine. The purpose of the current review is to provide a concise summary of the role of three-dimensional printing technology as it relates to the field of pediatric hepatology and liver transplantation.

Recent findings

Our group and others have recently demonstrated the feasibility of printing three-dimensional livers with identical anatomical and geometrical landmarks to the native liver to facilitate presurgical planning of complex liver surgeries. Medical educators are exploring the use of three-dimensional printed organs in anatomy classes and surgical residencies. Moreover, mini-livers are being developed by regenerative medicine scientist as a way to test new drugs and, eventually, whole livers will be grown in the laboratory to replace organs with end-stage disease solving the organ shortage problem.Summary

From presurgical planning to medical education to ultimately the bioprinting of whole organs for transplantation, three-dimensional printing will change medicine as we know in the next few years.
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Keywords: children; liver; three-dimensional printing; transplantation; tumor

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Cleveland Clinic, Digestive Disease Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA 2: Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Cleveland Clinic

Publication date: October 1, 2016

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