3D Printed Organ Models for Surgical Applications

Kaiyan Qiu, Ghazaleh Haghiashtiani, Michael C. McAlpine

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Medical errors are a major concern in clinical practice, suggesting the need for advanced surgical aids for preoperative planning and rehearsal. Conventionally, CT and MRI scans, as well as 3D visualization techniques, have been utilized as the primary tools for surgical planning. While effective, it would be useful if additional aids could be developed and utilized in particularly complex procedures involving unusual anatomical abnormalities that could benefit from tangible objects providing spatial sense, anatomical accuracy, and tactile feedback. Recent advancements in 3D printing technologies have facilitated the creation of patient-specific organ models with the purpose of providing an effective solution for preoperative planning, rehearsal, and spatiotemporal mapping. Here, we review the state-of-the-art in 3D printed, patient-specific organ models with an emphasis on 3D printing material systems, integrated functionalities, and their corresponding surgical applications and implications. Prior limitations, current progress, and future perspectives in this important area are also broadly discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-306
Number of pages20
JournalAnnual Review of Analytical Chemistry
StatePublished - Jun 12 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2018 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


  • 3D printing
  • integrated functionalities
  • organ models
  • polymeric materials
  • surgical applications
  • tissue-mimicking materials

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review


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