Defects characterized as large osseous voids in bone, in certain circumstances, are difficult to treat, requiring extensive treatments which lead to an increased financial burden, pain, and prolonged hospital stays. Grafts exist to aid in bone tissue regeneration (BTR), among which ceramic-based grafts have become increasingly popular due to their biocompatibility and resorbability. BTR using bioceramic materials such as β-tricalcium phosphate has seen tremendous progress and has been extensively used in the fabrication of biomimetic scaffolds through the three-dimensional printing (3DP) workflow. 3DP has hence revolutionized BTR by offering unparalleled potential for the creation of complex, patient, and anatomic location-specific structures. More importantly, it has enabled the production of biomimetic scaffolds with porous structures that mimic the natural extracellular matrix while allowing for cell growth—a critical factor in determining the overall success of the BTR modality. While the concept of 3DP bioceramic bone tissue scaffolds for human applications is nascent, numerous studies have highlighted its potential in restoring both form and function of critically sized defects in a wide variety of translational models. In this review, we summarize these recent advancements and present a review of the engineering principles and methodologies that are vital for using 3DP technology for craniomaxillofacial reconstructive applications. Moreover, we highlight future advances in the field of dynamic 3D printed constructs via shape-memory effect, and comment on pharmacological manipulation and bioactive molecules required to treat a wider range of boney defects.


Impact statement

The development of three-dimensional printing (3DP) biomimetic, bioceramic scaffolds represents a significant breakthrough in the field of bone tissue regeneration (BTR). Combining the precision and flexibility of 3DP with the biocompatibility and resorbability of bioceramics has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of large boney defects. It also has the potential to address the shortage of autografts or reduce the risk of rejection or infection associated with allografts or xenografts. This technology can improve the quality of life for millions of people worldwide by providing an effective, safe, sustainable, and low-cost solution for BTR.

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The Zeiss Gemini 300 FE-SEM was provided courtesy of the National Institutes of Health S10 Shared Instrumentation Program (1A10OD026989-01).


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Published In

cover image Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods
Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods
Volume 29Issue Number 7July 2023
Pages: 332 - 345
PubMed: 37463403


Published online: 18 July 2023
Published in print: July 2023
Accepted: 20 June 2023
Received: 18 April 2023


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Vasudev Vivekanand Nayak https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2739-0339
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA.
Blaire V. Slavin
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA.
Edmara T.P. Bergamo
Biomaterials Division, New York University College of Dentistry, New York, New York, USA.
Department of Prosthodontics and Periodontology, Bauru School of Dentistry, University of São Paulo, Bauru, São Paulo, Brazil.
Andrea Torroni
Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, New York University, New York, New York, USA.
Christopher M. Runyan
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA.
Roberto L. Flores
Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, New York University, New York, New York, USA.
F. Kurtis Kasper
Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas, USA.
Simon Young
Bernard and Gloria Pepper Katz Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Dentistry, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas, USA.
Paulo G. Coelho
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA.
DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA.
Biomaterials Division, New York University College of Dentistry, New York, New York, USA.
Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, New York University, New York, New York, USA.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tandon School of Engineering, New York University, Brooklyn, New York, USA.


Address correspondence to: Lukasz Witek, MSci, PhD, Biomaterials Division, New York University College of Dentistry, 345 East 24th Street, Room 902D, New York, NY 10010, USA [email protected]

Authors' Contributions

All authors have contributed equally to the drafting, writing, and editing of this invited review.

Disclosure Statement

No competing financial interests exist.

Funding Information

Some of the work referenced/discussed in this review was supported by DoD (W81XWH-16-1-0772 MPI-Rodriguez); NIH-NIAMS (R01AR068593—MPI: Paulo G. Coelho and Bruce N. Cronstein); NIH-NICHD (R21HD090664—MPI: Paulo G. Coelho, Bruce N. Cronstein, and Roberto L. Flores; R33HD090664—MPI: Paulo G. Coelho, Bruce N. Cronstein, Roberto L. Flores, and Lukasz Witek) and the Osteo Science Foundation (Peter Geistlich Research Award—MPI: Simon Young, F. Kurtis Kasper, Paulo G. Coelho, and Lukasz Witek).

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