Medical Applications: Drug Delivery Devices

MIT has issued Therics, Inc. a license for the production of time-release drug-delivery devices. Using a multiple jet printhead, extremely accurate quantities of several drugs can be printed into a bio-compatible, water-soluble substrate designed to time-release these drugs into the bloodstream.

Three Dimensional Printing is being utilized by the Biomaterials Group of the CPRL to fabricate oral drug delivery devices. Unlike other conventional pharmaceutical processing technologies, the 3DPTM enables complex drug release profiles, precise dosage control, and rapid formulation and re-invention without costly waste.

3D Printing, now used primarily as a tool for processing metal and ceramic prototypes, has many advantages over other rapid prototyping technologies. It is capable of specific spatial deposition of multiple materials with fine resolution and control over local composition and microstructure. It is particularly worthy for fabricating functionally graded structures.

These aspects of the 3DPTM process offer new possibilities for the fabrication of drug delivery systems. The ability to spatially control the deposition of multiple drugs, the level of porosity, and the strategic positioning of matrix modifiers will be important in designing the next generation of chronopharmacological drug delivery systems. 3D Printing has the ability to fabricate oral dosage forms for sustained release, controlled release, targeted release, cyclical release, or any combination of these. More precise spatial and temporal placement of drug into the body will reduce the size and number of doses, and this will thereby increase the therapeutic efficiency and safety of drugs, and help assist patient compliance.

Much of the current research still concerns proving itself with the 3D Printing concept. Recent testing shows that 3D Printing is able to deliver precise drug dosage control, and cross-sample contamination was not detected. It has also been shown that samples with varying bulk densities and porosities can be fabricated, and that this in turn leads to great flexibility in the release kinetics. We are now engineering composite tablets which contain both regions of an erosion-type and a diffusion-type release mechanism. These composite devices are currently being designed for specific applications involving the delivery of antihistamine and anti-inflammatory medications.

Tissue Engineering devices constructed from biodegradable polymers and human bone

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Last updated on Wednesday, June 28, 2000