Scientists from Louisiana Tech University have found a way to use 3D printers to create drugs. They can create capsules that can be swallowed like any other, but also allow doctors to alter dosages depending on patient requirements.
The capsule is made of biodegradable material, which can contain everyday drugs and chemotherapeutic compounds for cancer patients. The capsule would be the component created using the 3D printer, and medicine can be inserted before it is sealed.
"After identifying the usefulness of the 3D printers, we realized there was an opportunity for rapid prototyping using this fabrication method," Jeffery Weisman, a doctoral student in Louisiana Tech's biomedical engineering program, told RT. "Through the addition of nanoparticles and/or other additives, this technology becomes much more viable using a common 3D printing material that is already biocompatible. The material can be loaded with antibiotics or other medicinal compounds, and the implant can be naturally broken down by the body over time."
A major benefit of this method is that doctors and pharmacists can tailor the drugs to patient needs. For example, they could make a dose of antibiotics stronger or weaker, depending on the patient's ailments.
"One of the greatest benefits of this technology is that it can be done using any consumer printer and can be used anywhere in the world," Weisman said.