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Manufacturing Minute: 3D-Printed Pills

In this episode, 3D-printed medicine tailored to your biology.

One of the biggest appeals in 3D printing is the capability to customize products in order to cater to the specific needs or wants of consumers. But can this same idea be applied to medicine? The American Heart Association says yes.

Personalizing medication via 3D printing can increase its effectiveness by taking into account patients’ personal factors, such as weight, race, kidney and liver functions, according to a study presented at the AHA’s Scientific Sessions 2015.

A research team from Wake Forest University, Columbia University and University of North Carolina created a prototype computer algorithm that adjusts dosage based on the patient information input. All 80 pills printed as a result of this process, ranging from 124 mg to 373, were tested and found to be highly reproducible with little variability.

More research will need to be completed in order to refine an adjustment formula for medication as well as develop a more cost-effective process.


Do you think 3D printing will have a significant impact on the pharmaceutical industry? Will the benefits of this process overcome the cost?

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