Those suffering with arthritis, or sports injuries, can lose cartilage and this causes considerable pain. Replacement surgery, designed to use material analogous to cartilage, can be attempted but one of the problems is with generating material of the right shape or quality.
Improvements with the material (using biological material), and with the form and dimensions required, is now possible due to a special type of additive printing called 3D bioprinting (a variant of 3D printing.) With this process, an ink containing human cells is used. Thus 3D bioprinting is the process of generating spatially-controlled cell patterns using established 3D printing technology. Here, the cell function and viability are preserved within the printed construct and, ideally, retain functionality in the human body.