3D printing of wood-derived biopolymers: A review focused on biomedical applications
Wood-derived biopolymers have attracted great attention over the past few decades due to their abundant and versatile properties. The well-separated three main components, i.e., cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin, are considered significant candidates for replacing and improving on oil-based chemicals and materials. The production of nanocellulose from wood pulp opens an opportunity for novel material development and applications in nanotechnology. Currently, increased research efforts are focused on developing 3D printing techniques for wood-derived biopolymers for use in emerging application areas, including as biomaterials for various biomedical applications and as novel composite materials for electronics and energy devices. This review highlights recent work on emerging applications of wood-derived biopolymers and their advanced composites with a specific focus on customized pharmaceutical products and advanced functional biomedical devices prepared via three-dimensional printing. Specifically, various biofabrication strategies in which woody biopolymers are used to fabricate customized drug delivery devices, cartilage implants, tissue engineering scaffolds and items for other biomedical applications are discussed.