Formulating for 3D printing of pharmaceuticals

by Ricky Wildman, University of Nottingham

The industrial uptake of Additive Manufacturing and 3D printing processes is growing rapidly but is being hampered by the lack of breadth of materials usable in such systems. Identifying, and then optimisating formulations for 3D printing is time consuming, and generally involves many tedious steps each of which require lengthy analysis.

We have developed a methodology that compresses and automates the formulation steps. In addition, we incorporate assays that assess final material and product characteristics, such that screening can occur at all steps of the manufacturing workflow.

Through our research, we show how suitable choice of high throughput and fast assay methods can reduce the time for formulation of a 3D printed resin by a factor of 15, raising the possibility of ‘dialling up’ materials ready for bespoke product manufacture.

We demonstrate our recent findings in materials formulation for additive manufacturing within the context of biomedical applications, specifically towards the next generation of pharmaceuticals.

program: https://3dmedicalconference.com/program/

Interview

What drives you?
I am inspired to use 3D printing to understand how we can deliver better and more tailored therapies to those in need.

Why should the delegate attend your presentation?
Delegates will find out how we use 3D printing to develop personalised dosage forms, why it is so difficult to find the right materials and how we have been able to develop fast, high throughput methods to discover new materials.

What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
3D printing hold exciting promise in both long and short term. In the short term, it will be adapted to produce short runs of drug delivery tablets / implants on demand, but in the long term it holds a lot of promise for highly tailored, multi drug systems that can be used to increase effectiveness and compliance of drug regimes.

What kind of impact do you expect them to have?
The ability to be able to personalise drug delivery systems has the potential to dramatically change the pharmaceutical manufacture and distribution systems in place.

What are the barriers that might stand in the way?
The biggest barriers are the lack of materials and the inertia associated with highly centralised manufacturing systems.

“Special quote”
If we can solve the problem of lack of materials and lack of the right materials, 3D printing offers a revolution in drug dosage form production and manufacture.

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