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3D-Printed Tablets Offer Taste of Personalized Medicine

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An advance in three-dimensional (3D) printing has demonstrated how medicines could be produced onsite and on-demand through a printing technique that produces tablets in a matter of seconds.

Credit: University College London

Researchers at the U.K.'s University College London (UCL) have demonstrated that three-dimensional (3D) printing could be used to produce personalized medicines, with dosages and drug combinations customized for a patient's needs.

Building on the 3D-printing technique of vat photopolymerization, the new method, known as volumetric 3D printing, uses light during printing to form a resin containing dissolved drugs and a photoreactive chemical into a tablet.

By curing the entire resin structure at the same time rather than extruding the resin layer by layer, the researchers shortened printing time to as little as seven seconds (it took 17 seconds to produce 3D-printed tablets containing paracetamol).

UCL's Alvaro Goyanes said, "This technology could be a game changer for the pharmaceutical industry."

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