Three dimensional (3D) drug printing: A revolution in pharmaceutical science
Three-dimensional (3D) printing is a manufacturing method in which objects are made by fusing or depositing materials in successive layers laid down under computer control. These objects can be of almost any shape or geometry and are produced from a 3D model as defined in a computer-aided design (CAD). Since the inception of 3D printing in 1984 it has evolved immensely and has been used in many fields including medicine, architecture and more recently in pharmaceutical manufacturing. From lab grown organs to drug delivery devices, 3D printing is advancing rapidly and in future course of time it is going to transform and change the way we live and work.
3D printing in pharmaceuticals has been used to produce many novel dosage forms like microcapsules, Complex Drug-Release Profiles, nanosuspensions, and multilayered drug delivery devices. From industrial point of view it also offers important advantages like, cost-effectiveness, increased productivity, democratization of design and manufacturing, and enhanced collaboration.
Keeping in view the recent approval given by USFDA to the first 3D printed antiepileptic drug the focus has now shifted to the personalized medicine as it offers an important benefit to patients who need medications that have narrow therapeutic indices or a higher predilection to be influenced by genetic polymorphisms. 3D printer is now seen as a valuable, efficient and economical tool to manufacture individualized medications, tailored to specific patients based on their needs and thereby change the future of pharmacy practice in general and pharmaceutical care in particular.
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