In 5-10 years you will be able to 3D print medicine whenever you need it
3D printers are widely used by SMEs and hobbyists for several years already. You will be surprised to know that organizations and individuals are now experimenting with using 3D printers for medical purposes creating dental implants and prosthetics. Scientists from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), Preston, the UK, are going to revolutionize the way of delivering medicines when required using 3D printers.
Thanks to 3D printing very soon reasonably priced personalized medicines will be available, claim the researchers. The university team says that their far-reaching technology, which these days is applying for a patent, uses 3D printers to print medical tablets and pills of good quality that can be used by patients.
The printer is capable of creating drugs that are easily available in hospitals and pharmacies, but more over patients can be immediately supplied with the necessary pills whenever they need them. Dr Mohamed Albed Alhnan and his team from the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences created a drug-polymer filament system, which is likely to substitute the original filaments of the 3D printer.
The scientists found out that their new so-called pharmaceutical ink has made it possible for them to print out a challenging tablet design that has been significantly improved in the tablet’s weight, dose and appearance.
Dr Mohamed Albed Alhnan
Dr Mohamed Albed Alhnan explained that nowadays lots of industries are using 3D printing, so they decided to show that it can also be used effectively in medicine, suggesting their patients reasonably-priced medicine prepared especially for the particular patient. The technology has allowed them to create a reliable system which provides medical establishments with a new option to adjust the doses accurately with the simple software order, which was previously considered expensive and required well-experienced staff and special facilities.
Finally they hope that those patients who have to change the daily dose of some medicine can keep such units at home. Such 3D printing technology is supposed to reduce the price of producing pills for particular patients and at the same time suggest new possibilities for patients and doctors in the field of personalized medicine.
The project will probably become widespread in hospitals in about five years and widely used by the public in ten years.