4D Printing for Biomedical Applications

Ebrahim Yarali, Mohammad J. Mirzaali*, Ava Ghalayaniesfahani, Angelo Accardo, Pedro J. Diaz-Payno, Amir A. Zadpoor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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4D (bio-)printing endows 3D printed (bio-)materials with multiple functionalities and dynamic properties. 4D printed materials have been recently used in biomedical engineering for the design and fabrication of biomedical devices, such as stents, occluders, microneedles, smart 3D-cell engineered microenvironments, drug delivery systems, wound closures, and implantable medical devices. However, the success of 4D printing relies on the rational design of 4D printed objects, the selection of smart materials, and the availability of appropriate types of external (multi-)stimuli. Here, this work first highlights the different types of smart materials, external stimuli, and design strategies used in 4D (bio-)printing. Then, it presents a critical review of the biomedical applications of 4D printing and discusses the future directions of biomedical research in this exciting area, including in vivo tissue regeneration studies, the implementation of multiple materials with reversible shape memory behaviors, the creation of fast shape-transformation responses, the ability to operate at the microscale, untethered activation and control, and the application of (machine learning-based) modeling approaches to predict the structure–property and design–shape transformation relationships of 4D (bio)printed constructs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2402301
Number of pages34
JournalAdvanced Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • 4D printing
  • biomaterials
  • biomedical engineering
  • bioprinting
  • smart materials


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