Scientists develop 3D-printed pills for personalized medication

Credit: Max Gmelch, SAOT.

Researchers from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and the Bavarian Laser Centre (blz), in collaboration with University College London and the University of Santiago de Compostela, embark on a scientific journey exploring the potentialities of 3D printing in crafting customized pills.

With almost a third of Germany’s populace requiring daily medication and a quarter of these individuals utilizing three or more different medications concurrently, streamlined and tailored drug delivery is paramount, especially for the elderly or those battling cognitive impairments.

Crafting Medication with Precision and Personalization

The merger of 3D printing and pharmacology opens vistas towards personalized, safe, and simplified medication regimes.

The conventional 3D printing known to many in crafting industrious components or medical prosthetics is now under scrutiny for its potential to manufacture pills with tailored dosages and combinations of multiple active ingredients, aligning closely with patients’ daily requirements.

Thus, the potential to amalgamate multiple medications into a single pill emerges.

Innovating Beyond Existing Techniques: A Layered Approach

Pioneering a novel technique that departs from traditional FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) printing, where active ingredients are layered through a nozzle, the researchers have developed a method that enables the integration of fine structures within the pills.

This new methodology initiates with blending three active ingredients in powder form, inclusive of paracetamol and caffeine, with a non-active carrier powder.

Layers of these ingredients are meticulously applied, upon which a laser is utilized to meld them into a unified pill.

According to project leader Sebastian-Paul Kopp, this innovative method is gentle on the active ingredients and permits the utilization of conventional laser beam sources.

Eliminating the prerequisite for special absorbent particles, the FAU method allows not only for customization of active ingredient combinations per pill but also per individual layer, enabling control over the release timing of each active ingredient within the body.

Stepping Towards Futuristic Pharmacies

While still nascent and entailing further research, the possibilities unfurling from this study are boundless.

The envisioning of local pharmacies orchestrating precise and quick medication printing, formulating pills that align precisely with individual patient requirements, is emerging from the realms of imagination into scientific exploration.

This breakthrough could potentially redefine the experience of individuals who grapple with polypharmacy, offering them a simplified, precise, and personalized medicinal intake, potentially minimizing medication errors and enhancing adherence.

The potent blend of 3D printing technology with pharmaceutical science is gently pushing the boundaries, etching the path towards a future where medication is not just prescribed, but crafted, with individual precision and care.

If you care about nutrition, please read studies about how Mediterranean diet could protect your brain health, and the best time to take vitamins to prevent heart disease.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about plant nutrients that could help reduce high blood pressure, and these antioxidants could help reduce dementia risk.

The research findings can be found in Additive Manufacturing.

Follow us on Twitter for more articles about this topic.

Copyright © 2023 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.