Novel Drug Delivery: 2D & 3D Printing applications

Activities have been increased regarding the development and research on various printing techniques in fabrication of dosage forms. These technologies offer flexibility in manufacturing, potentially pave the way for personalized dosing and tailor-made dosage forms.

Drug delivery from 3-dimensional (3D) structures is a rapidly growing area of research. 3DP can fabricate solid dosage forms with variable densities and diffusivities, complex internal geometries, multiple drugs and excipients.

3DP uses computer aided technology and programme to transform 3D computer aided designs (CAD) into life-changing products. These design more effective and patient-friendly pharmaceutical products as well as bio-inspired medical devices. Levetiracetam (SPRITAM®) tablet a pharmaceutical product is developed by using 3DP technology.

3DP offers advantages like (a) high production rates due to its fast operating systems, (b) ability to achieve high drug-loading with much desired precision and accuracy especially for potent drugs that are applied in small doses, (c) reduction of material wastage which can save in the cost of production and (d) amenability to broad types of pharmaceutical active ingredients including poorly water-soluble, peptides and proteins, as well as drug with narrow therapeutic windows.

3D structures can be printed on a variety of surfaces with characteristic permeability, porosity, hydrophobicity/hydrophilicity and surface energy. Scientists in collaboration with CAD designers have produced innovative medical devices ranging from pharmaceutical tablets to surgical transplants of the human face and skull, spinal implants, prosthetics, human organs and other biomaterials.