Print your own pill!

How ZipDose Technology works. The result is a porous drug product that disintegrates with just a sip of liquid. Credit: Aprecia Pharmaceuticals Company

3D printing is becoming common in several areas but this is probably the first time that we see 3D printing in conjunction with the production of pills.

Aprecia Pharmaceutical has announced the green light from FDA to use 3d printing in the manufacturing a pills to be used to control the onset of seizures in adults and children with epilepsy.

The 3D printing allows the manufacturing of pills having a porous structure that is better in delivering massive doses of the drug, in a much more effective way.

At this point one might imagine than in the future we could have a 3D printer back home receiving the instruction from our doctor and printing customised pills... It may have seemed science fiction just few years ago but now it is becoming a possibility.
Clearly there are plenty of issues to be faced (and solved) but the technical feasibility is there.

Also, consider that medicine interacts with viruses, bacteria and more generally with our cells not because of the substance but because of their shape. With nanotechnology it is possible to create customised shapes (and I have posted a number of news on this) so that in principle we would not need to have many basic drug components back home. Some flexible (in sense of capable of being assembled in different ways) material would be theoretically sufficient to feed a nano-constructor to produce the desired substance and then a 3D printer can use that to print the pill.   Yes, I realise it is still 90% dream but 10% of basic technology is already available to sustain that dream and make it real. Just wait a few more years....

Author - Roberto Saracco

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