Edited by: Paul van Zuijlen, Maling Gou
A burn wound trauma can be devastating to the human body. It poses a challenge for the doctors to save the life of patients and to reconstruct damaged body structures. Decades ago an extensive burn trauma almost certainly would lead to death. This called for many innovations. Because all these developments patients nowadays survive their burn injuries and extensive wounds can be closed. Now we arrived in the era of ’scar quality’. We are dealing with extensive scars that our predecessors never saw. Also we want to restore ‘quality of life’.
3D printing is a new innovative technique with many interesting possibilities that now is changing the world around us. It already led to innovations that we could not think of a decade ago. It will also affect the way we will treat burn patients. In its simplest form it can be used for the preparation of splints and collars for the treatment of contractures and hypertrophic scars. But in combination with tissue engineering it can used for skin and cartilage engineering of missing body parts.
This thematic series covers many interesting aspects the possibilities (and impossibilities) of 3D printing for burn care.
This series was published in Burns & Trauma.