About this Research Topic
Three-dimensional printing (3D printing) is rapidly progressing with its adaptation into different fields of science. Cancer is an age-old nemesis affecting millions of people worldwide. For over a century, researchers studied and tested different drugs and strategies to understand and treat cancer. 3D printing is a rapid prototyping method where a layer-by-layer deposition of polymeric/gel/bio-ink/powder onto a solid surface guided by a computer-generated 3D model. The ability to tailor the third dimension will not only enable the development of custom-made and skillfully crafted 3D drug delivery chips and implants, but also the design of tissue replacement for the reconstruction of the cancer-damaged tissues. It will also ascertain advanced ex vivo tumor models and microenvironment-integrated tumor spheroids, and the development of 3D-printed devices and tools that improve the quality and outcome of radiotherapy. The research advancement in the application of 3D printing is expected to help understand more about the development and progress of cancer.
Since the 3D printing technology is pretty recent, there is huge room for its application and integration in cancer research and clinical practice. For example, the involvement of computer-assisted designs of the replacement tissues for reconstruction (following breast cancer removal for example) will benefit achieve more accurate-designed personalized products. In addition, current spheroid-based ex vivo tumor models still lack a high degree of realistic resemblance that well represents tumor heterogeneity and the complexity of tumor microenvironment. 3D printing-based technologies are already on track to take this field to a new level. Integration of other technologies like extrusion to prepare 3D-printed constructs will help overcome many problems of the materials that are classically applied in 3D printing, by imparting certain desirable mechanical characteristics through extrusion of polymer blends.
The fields of research that will be included in this theme issue will include:
• Design of 3D-printed bio-chips and implants for chemotherapeutic, radiotherapeutic, and immunotherapeutic-based theranostic tools for cancer.
• 3D printing for tissue reconstruction following cancer surgeries.
• Application of extrusion to develop novel polymeric materials for 3D printing-based drug delivery tools for cancer.
• Ethical regulations and economic aspects related to the use of 3D-printed technologies in cancer.
• Development of 3D-printing- and bioprinting-based tumor ex vivo models and spheroids to the well-represent tumor microenvironment and tumor heterogeneity.
• Application of 3D printing to develop educational tools for medical students especially in the field of clinical oncology.
Keywords: 3D biochips, bioprinting, tissue constructs, tumor spheroids, 3D drug delivery device
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