3-D printing has the potential to impact all aspects of services provided by MUSC, as a comprehensive academic medical center. The use of this technology in healthcare is growing rapidly with the number of FDA-approved 3-D printed implants on the rise and mounting interest in its benefits for pre-surgical planning. Fields such as prosthetics and dentistry have embraced the technology with low-cost, high-quality prosthetics becoming more readily accessible. 3-D printing has an added benefit of being visually friendly and easy to understand.
MUSC has considerable strengths in the use of this technology. MUSC’s College of Dental Medicine (CDM) is internationally recognized as a leader in digital dentistry, and all students are trained in the use of 3-D printing. CDM alone prints thousands of pieces each year for educational, patient and surgical use. The MUSC Health clinical practice has several departments with strong advocates pushing the limits of its use. Additionally, this technology is used in various research studies throughout the College of Health Professions and the College of Medicine. MUSC is also home to the Zucker Institute for Applied Neurosciences, which is becoming recognized as a leader in the design of 3-D printed expandable titanium implants.
In addition to being a leader in clinical and research use of polymer, or resin-based, printing, MUSC is also a pioneer in the science of bioprinting.
MUSC offers several educational opportunities for those interested in becoming more familiar with 3-D technology. There are printers available for use across campus, including one located in the Colbert Library and a metal printer soon to be located in CDM. Additionally, students have the ability to take an Interprofessional Elective course exposing them to the use of 3-D printing in various clinical fields and providing an opportunity to create models themselves.
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