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3D printing for hip implant applications: a review.

Okolie, Obinna; Stachurek, Iwona; Kandasubramanian, Balasubramanian; Njuguna, James


Iwona Stachurek

Balasubramanian Kandasubramanian


There is a rising demand for replacement, regeneration of tissues and organ repairs for patients who suffer from diseased/damaged bones or tissues such as hip pains. The hip replacement treatment relies on the implant, which may not always meet the requirements due to mechanical and biocompatibility issues which in turn may aggravate the pain. To surpass these limitations, researchers are investigating the use of scaffolds as another approach for implants. Three-dimensional (3D) printing offers significant potential as an efficient fabrication technique on personalized organs as it is capable of biomimicking the intricate designs found in nature. In this review, the determining factors for hip replacement and the different fabrication techniques such as direct 3D printing, Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and stereolithography (SLA) for hip replacement. The study also covers surface modifications of 3D printed implants and provides an overview on 3D tissue regeneration. To appreciate the current conventional hip replacement practices, the conventional metallic and ceramic materials are covered, highlighting their rationale as the material of choice. Next, the challenges, ethics and trends in the implants’ 3D printing are covered and conclusions drawn. The outlook and challenges are also presented here. The knowledge from this review indicates that 3D printing has enormous potential for providing a pathway for a sustainable hip replacement.


OKOLIE, O., STACHUREK, I., KANDASUBRAMANIAN, B. and NJUGUNA, J. 2020. 3D printing for hip implant applications: a review. Polymers [online], 12(11), articles ID 2682. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 5, 2020
Online Publication Date Nov 13, 2020
Publication Date Nov 30, 2020
Deposit Date Nov 17, 2020
Publicly Available Date Nov 17, 2020
Journal Polymers
Electronic ISSN 2073-4360
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 11
Article Number 2682
Keywords 3D printing; Biocompatibility; Biomaterials; Cell adhesion; Hip replacement; Tissue regeneration
Public URL


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