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Manufacture Technology and Equipment, Small Molecules

Realizing 3D Potential by Printing a Clearer Picture

Inkjet printing has the potential to transform the ways in which pharmaceuticals are developed, manufactured and delivered to the patient. A great deal of research has been published on the subject, but the sheer volume and variety of it – and the fact that its focus tends to be narrow – often on just one type of application and a limited range of pharmaceuticals – makes it difficult for companies to get a clear picture of what inkjet technologies can offer.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) in the UK have developed a systematic approach to understanding how inkjet printing can deliver clear benefits for pharmaceutical companies. In a collaborative effort published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics in October 2015 (1), two teams focused on different areas have analyzed the reams of research published to date and developed a coherent approach to comparing its findings. The process plays to each team’s strengths: IfM’s Inkjet Research Centre, led by Professor Ian Hutchings and Dr. Graham Martin, understands the underlying science and technology, whereas researchers from the Centre for International Manufacturing focus on the pharmaceutical sector’s particular supply chain challenges and opportunities.

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