In cases that you may forget to take a dose of your medicine, it’s worth having a 3D printed pill that you take only once a day, but will be released to your body at any desired rate.
This is what assistant professor Soh Siow Ling and PhD student Sun Yajuan from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biomolecular Engineering at the National University of Singapore had developed. The pill is designed to contain the patient’s different meds for a given day, only to be released at different times in the correct dosage as indicated.
3D Printed Pill (Source: IMechE)
Researchers used computer software to make the mold. This is critical because it is the shape and the length that control dosage. After designing the pill, it is then 3D printed to get the drug.
The pill is designed to have three components, one of which is a polymer containing the drug. This will determinate the rate of release of the drug. Adjustments with the shape of the polymer makes it possible to designate release of the drug it contains. There is also the solution of surface-eroding polymer that fills the gaps in between.
3D Printed Pill. No need to take multiple pills at different intervals. Source: Giphy
Making this pill is simple through the UP Plus 2, the 3D printer. It can be operated by GPs, pharmacists or hospital staff.
Soh is proud of this breakthrough. He said, “This new tablet fabrication method is a game changer – it is technically simple, relatively inexpensive and versatile. It can be applied at individualised settings where physicians could produce customised pills on the spot for patients, or in mass production settings by pharmaceutical companies.”