An interdisciplinary team of researchers at Texas A&M University is receiving approximately $3 million in funding to explore the production of customized medicines for children through 3D printing. The aim is to adapt tablets to the needs of young patients in terms of dosage and size. In addition to new manufacturing processes, the experts also want to ensure the effectiveness of the drugs.
Traditional drug production delivers standardized tablets in terms of dosage and size. However, children – as well as older people – often have changing weight and dosage requirements. This is where the interdisciplinary team from the College of Engineering, the College of Pharmacy and the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences comes in.
“The additive manufacturing of pharmaceuticals presents a relatively new process that differs significantly from the additive manufacturing of metals or ceramics,” Kuttolamadom said. “Our primary challenge lies in comprehending this novel process and unraveling the unique aspects specific to pharmaceuticals. Overcoming these challenges is essential as we strive to advance the field and ensure the drug’s efficacy remains intact throughout/beyond the manufacturing process.”
By using 3D printing, drugs could not only be customized in size and dosage. There is also the possibility of combining different drugs in a single tablet. This innovation offers great added value, especially in areas such as pediatric oncology, where flexibility in medications is of great importance.
In conclusion, this approach has the potential to make a significant contribution to personalized medicine by addressing the individual needs of patients. It remains to be seen what further developments will result from this pioneering work.