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Researchers from Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT), Ireland, are working to make taking multiple medications, otherwise known as polypharmacy, easier with a personalized 3D printed pill.
Evert Fuenmayor, Doctoral candidate at the Materials Research Institute, AIT, and Principal Investigator, Dr. Ian Major, have used FFF 3D printing and micro injection molding to develop custom bilayer tablets capable of releasing drugs in specific quantities.
Study - International - Journal - Pharmaceuticals - Manufacturing
According to the study published in the International Journal of Pharmaceuticals, additive manufacturing aids the exploration of medications custom to a person’s genetic makeup, that is, pharmacogenomics. This ultimately leads to the ideal patient treatments. Fuenmayor explains “Pharmacists will be able to make up the drug profile based on a patient’s unique needs there and then,”
“WITH THE RIGHT DRUG-LOADED POLYMERS IN STOCK AND A SMALL 3D PRINTER, THEY’D BE ABLE TO PRINT YOUR TABLETS IN THE ACTUAL PHARMACY ITSELF.”
Evert - Feunmayor - Pill - Photo - Athlone
Evert Feunmayor with the 3D printed pill. Photo via Athlone Institute of Technology.
3D printing pharmaceuticals has enabled the creation of tablets containing specific dosages of a drug in various shapes and sizes. This not only increases the ease of oral consumption, but reduces the quantity of medication needed for a patient.
Years - Experimentation - Feunmayor - Dr - Major
With three years of experimentation, Feunmayor and Dr. Major applied biocompatible, biodegradable polymers to create a personalised drug delivery system. Coupled with different 3D printing parameters the drugs can be released at an allotted time. “When we started this research, the idea that 3D printing with polymer could be used to deliver drugs to the body was really novel – no one was doing it,” added Feunmayor.
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