About the book
Three-dimensional printing (3DP) is an intriguing technique for fabricating a large variety of structures of objects, of diverse functions, by the sequential deposition of layers of materials. Using computer-aided design software, 3DP has found great potential in various areas, including biomedical and pharmaceutical applications, particularly for the development of patient-customized products. Within the pharmaceutical field, 3D printing can produce batches of medicinal products, of adequate size, with tailored dosages and release characteristics. To this end, different natural biopolymers, like gelatin, collagen, alginates, and chitosan have been utilised. Yet, they frequently necessitate cross-linkers, which could be cytotoxic, and therefore synthetic polymers have recently attracted attention for 3DP to avoid these disadvantages of natural polymers.
The fact that the products fabricated from 3 DP possess poor mechanical properties and anisotropic behaviour, creates a considerable hurdle in scale up. This is one of the challenges in 3 DP-based pharmaceutics production. Other challenges refer to the unsuitability of the commonly used polymers in 3 DP, with respect to thermolabile drug substances (API); this, however, can be circumvented by the preparation of a nanoformulation of the API before incorporation into the polymer.
The future perspectives of 3 DP products include the design of modern tools, like advanced chemometrically derived modeling for inducing fabrication speed and scaling up.