Image Source: 3d natives

One of the applications of 3D printing is in the medical field. Some of the researchers identified that the resin which is used in dental 3d printing can potentially harm mammalian oocytes (commonly referred to as eggs) in vitro. Notably, they found ovo-toxicity in mammals suggesting that there needs to be more evaluation of bio-compatible materials. 

Estimated at $9.7 billion in 2025 according to Grand View Research, dental 3D printing allows multiple applications such as 3D printed trays, custom-made implants, molds, prostheses, and more. In most cases, the technology used is Stereolithography, a process based on photosensitive resins. The resins used in this process are LT and SG. Based on the study conducted by Northwestern University, they concluded that there is a release of severe toxic compounds into the oocyte. Researchers explained that they used two bio-compatible resins, Dental LT and Dental SG to print 3D micro-physiological platforms. As we all are aware that reproductive cells are highly sensitive to leachable compounds, they conducted a test to know about the toxicity using an in vitro mouse oocyte maturation test.

Francesca Duncan, a co-author of the study and Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, explains ” Our results are important because they demonstrate that leachates from commonly used materials in 3D printing slated as ‘biocompatible’ but that may have adverse effects on reproductive health. There is a critical need to better understand the identity and biological impact of compounds that leach from these materials”. So we need to focus much on this because these resins are used in dental printing and can affect the mouth directly. This may harm women. Francesca continues ” The results demonstrate reproductive toxicity should be a priority when characterizing all materials humans may come into contact with either in a medical setting or their day-to-day lives.”

There is still a gap in the medical sector in terms of biocompatibility and certification. So researchers should work on this to find a better solution.