This POSTnote gives an overview of 3D bioprinting in medine and the associated biological, manufacturing, regulatory and ethical implications.

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3D printing in medicine is usually associated with the production of medical devices such as hip implants and prosthetic limbs. However, new research is applying 3D printing to living cells and proteins, to print new tissues for medical use in a process known as 3D bioprinting. Current research focuses on the use of such constructs in regenerative medicine, the branch of medicine that looks at regenerating or replacing cells,
tissues or organs to repair damage caused by trauma or disease, rather than using donor organs. However, the ultimate aim of such research may be seen as the the creation of whole synthetic tissues and organs, but the field is still in the early stages of development

POSTnotes are based on literature reviews and interviews with a range of stakeholders and are externally peer reviewed. POST would like to thank interviewees and peer reviewers for kindly giving up their time during the production of this briefing, including:

Dr. Arun Arjunan Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering, University of Wolverhampton.* 
Ms. Charlotte Burnham-Stevens Life Science Consultant.*
Prof. Che Connon Professor of Tissue Engineering, Newcastle University.*
Prof. Kenneth Dalgarno Sir James Woodeson Professor of Manufacturing Engineering, Newcastle University.*
Dr. Jin Ding Research Fellow in Engineering, Nottingham University.*
Dr. Marco Domingos Associate Professor of Bioengineering, University of Manchester.*
Dr. Joseph Dudman Researcher in Biofabrication and 3D Bioprinting, Newcastle University.*
Prof. Alicia El Haj Interdisciplinary Professor of Cell Engineering, Healthcare Technologies Institute, University of Birmingham.*
Prof. Alex Faulkner Professor in Sociology of Biomedicine and Healthcare Policy, Centre for Global Health Policy, School of Global Studies, University of Sussex.’Biomodifying technologies.’ ESRC 2017-2020 and Governing Biomodification.’ Leverhulme Trust, 2018-2021.*
Prof. Liam Grover Professor of Biomaterials Science, Director of the Healthcare Technologies Institute, University of Birmingham.*
Prof. David Hay Professor of Tissue Engineering, MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh.*
Dr. Yan Yan Shery Huang Principle Investigator in Bioengineering, University of Cambridge.*
Dr. Deepak Kalaskar Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, University College London.*
Dr. Raphaël Lévy Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry, University of Liverpool.*
Dr. Phoebe Li Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Sussex. ‘Biomodifying technologies.’ ESRC 2017-2020 and Governing Biomodification.’ Leverhulme Trust, 2018-2021.*
Prof. Patricia Murray Professor of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, University of Liverpool.*
Prof. Alan Smith Professor of Biopolymer Science, University of Huddersfield.*
Dr. Francesca Spagnoli Reader in Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine, King’s College London.* 
Ms. Eleanor Stead Policy Officer (Department of Health and Social Care) at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. 
Dr. Ashley Stratton-Powell Senior Medical Device Specialist (Orthopaedics) at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.*

(* denotes people who also acted as peer reviewers of the briefing)

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