Annals of 3D Printed Medicine (Oct 2022)

Recent advancements in additive manufacturing techniques employed in the pharmaceutical industry: A bird's eye view

  • Ryan Varghese,
  • Sahil Salvi,
  • Purab Sood,
  • Jainam Karsiya,
  • Dileep Kumar

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 8
p. 100081


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The 3–dimensional printing process (3DP) was patented in the 1980s, but the utilization of this process has expanded substantially over the past decade, to which the pharmaceutical industry is a major contributor. With increasing interest, researchers across the globe are striving for the fabrication of novel pharmaceutical dosage forms, especially tailored ones, which can cater to the specific needs of the patient. These dosage forms intend to cater for on–demand manufacturing, personalized medications, enhanced geometry, size, and dosage, and increased bioavailability of the medicinal active. With the emergence of precision medicine in healthcare, the inclusion of additive manufacturing (AM) technologies is deemed imperative for the fabrication of oral dosage forms and polypills, which opens new horizons for the administration of drug combinations and formulations tailored to individual needs. Although the extensive commercialization and acceptance of the AM techniques may disrupt the current healthcare supply chain, it has the potential to curtail the waste produced by expired and unused medications. This article attempts to outline these additive manufacturing techniques of great interest in the pharmaceutical industry while underscoring the current innovative trends pertaining to the 3D printing of pharmaceutical dosage forms, as well as their advantages, limitations, and prospects in the field of research and development. The article also showcases the viability of various 3D printing techniques by citing numerous papers in which said techniques have been successfully exploited to deliver unique pharmaceutical formulations.