The advancement of four-dimensional (4D) printing has been fueled by the rise in demand for additive manufacturing and the expansion in shape-memory materials. The printing of smart substances that respond to external stimuli is known as 4D printing. 4D printing allows highly controlled shapes to simulate the physiological milieu by adding time dimensions. The 4D printing is suitable with current progress in smart compounds, printers, and its mechanism of action. The 4D printing paradigm, a revolutionary enhancement of 3D printing, was anticipated by various engineering disciplines. Tissue engineering, medicinal, consumer items, aerospace, and organ engineering use 4D printing technology. The current review mainly focuses on the basics of 4D printing and the methods used therein. It also discusses the time-dependent behavior of stimulus-sensitive compounds, which are widely used in 4D printing. In addition, this review highlights material aspects, specifically related to shape-memory polymers, stimuli-responsive materials (classified as physical, chemical, and biological), and modified materials, the backbone of 4D printing technology. Finally, potential applications of 4D printing in the biomedical sector are also discussed with challenges and future perspectives. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmaceutical Science