© 2017

3D Printing and Bio-Based Materials in Global Health

An Interventional Approach to the Global Burden of Surgical Disease in Low-and Middle-Income Countries


Part of the SpringerBriefs in Materials book series (BRIEFSMATERIALS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Sujata K. Bhatia, Krish W. Ramadurai
    Pages 1-20
  3. Sujata K. Bhatia, Krish W. Ramadurai
    Pages 21-38
  4. Sujata K. Bhatia, Krish W. Ramadurai
    Pages 39-61
  5. Sujata K. Bhatia, Krish W. Ramadurai
    Pages 63-93
  6. Sujata K. Bhatia, Krish W. Ramadurai
    Pages 95-115

About this book


This book examines the potential to deploy low-cost, three-dimensional printers known as RepRaps in developing countries to fabricate surgical instruments and medical supplies to combat the “global surgical burden of disease.” Approximately two billion people in developing countries around the world lack access to essential surgical services, resulting in the avoidable deaths of millions of individuals each year. A fundamental barrier that inhibits access to surgical care in these locations is the lack of basic surgical instruments and supplies in healthcare facilities. RepRap printers are highly versatile 3D printers assembled from basic, domestically sourced materials that can fabricate low-cost surgical instruments on-site, ultimately enhancing the interventional capacity of healthcare facilities to treat patients.

Rather than focusing on one specific field of interest, this book takes an integrative approach that incorporates topics and methods from multiple disciplines ranging from global health and development economics to materials science and applied engineering. These topics include the feasibility of using bio-based plastics to fabricate surgical instruments via 3D printing sustainably, the application of "frugal innovation and engineering” in resource-poor settings, and analyses related to the social returns on investment, barriers to entry, and current and future medical device supply-chain paradigms. In taking a multi-disciplinary approach, the reader can gain a holistic understanding of the multiple facets related to implementing medical device innovations in developing countries.


3D Printed surgical tools rapid prototyping additive device manufacturing fused deposition modeling surgery in developing countries low cost medical supplies additive manufacturing in healthcare

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Chemical & Biomolecular EngineeringUniversity of Delaware, Chemical & Biomolecular EngineeringNewarkUSA
  2. 2.Faculty of Arts & SciencesHarvard University, Faculty of Arts & SciencesCambridgeUSA

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Chemical Manufacturing