Perspectives of orthopedic surgeons on the clinical use of bioprinted cartilage: Qualitative study

Àngels Salvador Verges, Luis Fernández-Luque, Meltem Yildirim, Bertran Salvador-Mata, Francesc Garcia Cuyàs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Over the past 60 years, no technique used for treating cartilage disorders has been completely successful. Bioprinting provides a highly anticipated, novel alternative solution to this problem. However, identifying barriers to this new technology is crucial in order to overcome them when bioprinting reaches the implementation stage. This kind of research has been declared essential because clinical efficacy and safety studies alone do not always lead to successful implementation. Objective: This qualitative study aimed to explore the stance of orthopedic surgeons on the use of bioprinted cartilage grafts for cartilaginous lesions. The study sought to summarize and classify the barriers and facilitators of this technique and to identify the key factors for successful implementation of bioprinted cartilage in routine clinical practice. Methods: A qualitative thematic analysis method was used to evaluate data obtained from semistructured interviews and from focus groups. Data were collected between June 2017 and February 2018. Interviews focused on the collection of expert opinions on bioprinted cartilage. Results: The perceived barriers to the adoption of this technology were (1) awareness of a lack of information on the status and possibilities of this technology, (2) uncertainty regarding compliance with current health care regulations and policies, and (3) demands for clinical evidence. The facilitators were (1) lack of surgical alternatives, (2) the perception that research is the basis of the current health system, and (3) the hope of offering a better quality of life to patients. Conclusions: The results of this study are preliminary in nature and cannot be generalized without a broader group of participants. However, the key factors identified provide a frame of reference to help understand the challenges of bioprinted cartilage and help facilitate the transition toward its clinical use. These findings will also provide information for use at multidisciplinary meetings in scientific societies; create bridges between researchers, orthopedic surgeons, and regulators; and open a debate on the funding of this technique and the business model that needs to be developed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12148
JournalJournal of medical Internet research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


  • Bioprinting
  • Cartilage
  • Expert testimony
  • Orthopedic surgeons
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics

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