Additive manufacturing and technical strategies for improving outcomes in breast reconstructive surgery

Nicola Rocco, Ida Papallo, Maurizio Bruno Nava, Giuseppe Catanuto, Antonello Accurso, Ilaria Onofrio, Olimpia Oliviero, Giovanni Improta, Domenico Speranza, Marco Domingos, Teresa Russo, Roberto De Santis, Massimo Martorelli, Antonio Gloria


It has been widely reported that breast reconstruction improves the quality of life of women who undergo mastectomy for breast cancer.
This approach provides many psychological advantages. Today, different techniques are available for the breast oncoplastic surgeon
that involve the use of breast implants and autologous tissues, also offering interesting results in terms of aesthetic and patient-reported
outcomes. On the other hand, advanced technologies and design strategies (i.e. design for additive manufacturing, reverse engineering)
may allow the development of customised porous structures with tailored morphological, mechanical, biological, and mass transport
properties. For this reason, the current study deals with the challenges, principles, and methods of developing 3D additive manufactured
structures in breast reconstructive surgery. Specifically, the aim was to design 3D additive manufactured poly(ε-caprolactone) scaffolds
with different architectures (i.e. lay-down patterns). Preliminary mechanical and biological analyses have shown the effect of the lay-
down pattern on the performances of the manufactured structures.

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