While the major medical applications of RP technology are related to surgery, there are other applications with the potential to significantly impact health care delivery. (The primary focus of the programs that the panel reviewed outside the United States was surgical applications.) There is an effort in Germany to use laser caving to create a surface structure that will promote bone growth and integration of the prosthesis. In the United States, MIT is studying applications of its Three-Dimensional Printing (3DP) process to the generation of controlled patterned surfaces, which can be applied for prosthesis retention. The capability is also being explored for holding metered amounts of medication in a conveyance that has timed release encapsulation, providing an assured medication supply.

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Published: March 1997; WTEC Hyper-Librarian