3D printing of personalised medicines
Preparation of medicines has always been important for the treatment of individual patients. Dermatological preparations, capsules with a special dosage or eye drops without a conservative are well known examples.
A lot of new options will become available by using the 3D-printing technique for medicines; it offers a flexible way to support individual patients’ needs.
Especially for the treatment of young children, the technique is interesting. Instead of too large tablets or bad tasting liquids very small tablets can be prepared with an individual adjusted dosage.
Several technical approaches are available for 3D-printing such as fused deposition, direct powder extrusion, selective laser sintering and semi-solid extrusion.
The latter technique is especially interesting for the use in the clinical setting and can be used for a large range of active substances. This technique makes use of a semi-solid gel which is extruded through a nozzle on a printing bed after which the gel solidifies. In our hospital a proof of principle has been performed and published by Iris Lafeber, a PhD student (1). In this study low dose furosemide tablets and sildenafil tablets were prepared and the quality was determined using Ph Eur standards for tablets and new parameters specifically for 3D printed tablets were defined. Next, a patient pilot study will be performed to determine the biopharmaceutical parameters of this new products.
We expect 3D printing to become available in the next coming years fort the preparation of individual patients in every pharmacy. It will give a boost to pharmacy preparations!
1) I. Lafeber, JM. Tichem, N. Ouwerkerk, AD. van Unen, JJD. van Uitert, HCM. Bijleveld-Olierook, DM. Kweekel, WM. Zaal, PPH. Le Brun, HJ. Guchelaar, KJM. Schimmel, 3D printed furosemide and sildenafil tablets: innovative production and quality control, International Journal of Pharmaceutics (2021), doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2021.120694