3D-printed medication points to personalised medicine

A new 3D printing technique developed at UCL could lead to precise doses of personalised medicine being produced in a range of settings.

According to UCL, the method could make it easier for personalised medicine to be prepared in clinics, remote areas or even in patients’ homes. The team’s findings have been published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics.

personalised medicine

Lead author, PhD researcher Xiaoyan Xu, UCL School of Pharmacy said: “This novel system would help people who need precise dosages that differ from how a medication is typically sold, as well as people whose required dosage may change regularly.

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Additive Manufacturing as bridge production and other uses

In a presentation at Virtual Engineering Days, Joe Cretella, applications engineering manager at ProtoLabs, offered technical examples about how multijet fusion (MJF) can best be used, while Brent Ewald, solutions architect from HP, talked about developing strategies for using MJF and encouraged companies to think about how the technology can complement their more traditional manufacturing efforts.


Cretella began by noting that the ideal applications for multijet fusion can include prototypes and end-use parts; complex geometries requiring hinging or light weighting, high strength, and temperature resistance; jigs and fixtures, brackets, clips; and component housings.

He cited a recent case study that ProtoLabs did with a university in France and its German counterparts to produce reusable face shield. Cretella said they were able to optimize the design so that it could be printed as a single component. “So it could fit a large number of those face shields into a single build,” he explained. “And that’s really going to be key on thinking about designs, especially as we’re getting into talking about the parts, we want to be able to fit a high volume.”

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Dutch trauma center 3D prints bone fracture models for better treatment

A trauma center in the Netherlands is using 3D printing technologies to improve the treatment of trauma patients, especially those who are admitted with bone fractures. The technology is being explored at the Elisabeth-TweeSteden Ziekenhuis (ETZ) trauma center by a team of trauma surgeons and researchers.

At the ETZ, one of 11 trauma centers in the Netherlands, PhD candidate Lars Brouwers is testing the effectiveness of 3D printing for trauma treatment. He has been tasked with the job of transforming medical scans of bone fractures into patient-specific 3D printed models. The 3D printed bones are then being used as pre-surgical aids for doctors and as explanatory models for patients.

Brouwers, along with ETZ trauma surgeons Mike Bemelman, MD and Koen Lansink, MD, believe that physical 3D printed models can offer surgeons a better and clearer understanding of a patient’s injury than 3D models visualized on a 2D screen.

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3D printing set to add mobility to medicine manufacturing

Prof Lee Cronin: “One day people might do this in their houses but not now.”

Picture this: you need a medicine but your illness is so rare that the required drug is extremely expensive and not widely available. Or maybe you are travelling and the drug you need can’t be easily shipped all the way to you. Could three-dimensional printing offer a solution? Could a local, 3D-printed mini-factory make medicine for you?

Three-dimensional printing, which builds up layers of materials to print a product, is making its mark in the world of medical devices, opening up new ways to make implants and biocompatible scaffolds.

Using the technology to manufacture medicines is still niche, but interest is there. A 3D-printed drug has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States, and researchers are starting to prise open the potential of 3D printing low-cost equipment to build the chemicals needed for drugs.

Five ways 3D printing is changing medicine

Before inserting and expanding a pen-sized stent into someone’s aorta, the hose-like artery that carries our blood away from the heart, surgeon Jason Chuen likes to practice on the patient first. Not for real of course, but in plastic.

Which explains the 3D printer in his office and the brightly coloured plastic aortas that line his window sill at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne. They are all modelled from real patients and printed out from CT scans, ultrasounds and x-rays.

“By using the model I can more easily assess that the stent is the right size and bends in exactly the right way when I deploy it,” says Mr Chuen, Director of Vascular Surgery at Austin Health and a Clinical Fellow at the University of Melbourne.

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Scientists 3D print Parkinson’s medicine for first time with UV inkjet 3D printing

Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham.New research into 3D printed medicine has shown – for the first time – that a combination of inkjet printing and UV curing can produce, “solid oral dosage forms” of drugs.

The research opens the door for personalized medicine, improvements in small scale clinical trials and “functionally graded dosage design.”

University of Nottingham scientists working with pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) conducted the study “3D Printing of Tablets Using Inkjet with UV Photoinitiation.”

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3D printing and the future of medicine

Jas Coles-Black is a final year medical student, and a Research Community Coordinator at Research Platforms Services at The University of Melbourne where she grows her community in medical 3D printing. As part of the #3DMed initiative, she is an avid proponent of 3D printing in the medical space.

picture1What is 3D printing?

3D printing is a broad term used to describe several additive manufacturing techniques, where structures are built by depositing material layer by layer. This is in contrast to more traditional manufacturing techniques, which involve moulding and manipulating the materials of interest. It has been hailed as ‘the next industrial revolution’ that could fundamentally change the status quo, and the way we practise medicine.

Bioprinting and Regenerative Medicine

Bioprinting is one aspect of 3D printing, and involves combining living cells, biocompatible materials and biochemical substances in order to create tissue-like analogues. This enables the creation of biological and organ substitutes for research and clinical purposes, such as the fabrication of artificial organs for transplantation. 3D printing has been used in regenerative medicine not only to print scaffolds, which can be subsequently seeded with cells, but can also involve printing tissues using actual cells.

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