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Discovery & Development Drug Discovery, Digital Technologies, Dosage Forms, Formulation, Technology and Equipment

Dose Personalization with 3D Printing

This article was published in our sister publication, The Small Molecule Manufacturer, which celebrates the field of small molecule drug development and manufacturing with interviews and articles focusing on success stories, equipment, and new processing techniques. Read more about The Small Molecule Manufacturer here https://themedicinemaker.com/manufacture/small-but-never-forgotten

The technology has been in development since the 1980s but, today, 3D printing is widely used in prototyping, molds and tooling. In pharma, 3D printing can be used in a variety of different applications. Some equipment companies, for example, use 3D printed parts to lower the costs of building machines. But it can also be applied more directly in drug development through the printing of solid oral dosage forms. Simon Gaisford, Reader in Pharmaceutics and Head of the Department of Pharmaceutics at University College London (UCL) has combined his strong interest in 3D printing with his expertise in pharmaceuticals. Back in 2015, Gaisford and his team used 3D printing to create a variety of different shaped tablets - from pyramids to cylinders and more. The work was not only to explore the kinds of tablet shapes that could be printed, but also to investigate the effect of those shapes on drug release. Some geometric shapes featured faster drug release than others because of their surface area to volume ratio. 

Gaisford has also been working to develop a universal pharmaceutical 3D printing system, which has been designed to print a variety of different drug products from pharmaceutical “inks.” To launch the technology, he set up FabRx.

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About the Author

Simon Gaisford

Printing Technology Director at FabRx.

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