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3D Printing for flexible production of personalised medicine

More and more often, when it comes to effective pharmaceutical solutions, one size does not fit all. Today, healthcare providers are seeking more made-to-measure or bespoke pharmaceutical options that put the health and needs of each individual patient at the forefront. But these precision solutions are often costly and difficult to produce. Until now. TNO is leading the way towards 3D-printed, personalised medical solutions.
Multi API 3D printed tablet by PowderBed printing

Digital Drug Manufacturing

Using the latest 3D printing technology, and working in close cooperation with the pharma and biotech industries and academia, TNO develops 3D printing technology that will accelerate the trajectory of medicine development and allow the local production of personalised medication. This will enable the industry to bring new, personalised multi-drug and precision medicines to the market more swiftly, and at lower costs.

Applied knowledge and expertise

For more than 30 years, TNO has explored the potential of 3D printing technologies for various applications. Today, we are forming partnerships with pharma and biotech companies, universities and research centres to apply that knowledge. We aim to develop pharmaceutical products accurately, with process control, validation, and the ability to produce at scale.​

Extrusion printed tablets with varying shapes and porosity

On-demand medicine

In recent years, cost considerations have minimised the production of bespoke medicines. Now, using 3D printing technology, cost-effective, small-scale manufacturing of medicines can once more boost the key role of pharmacists in patient care.

Transforming the drug development process

3D printing enables swift and flexible pre-clinical formulation development and early-phase clinical trials. Assessing and measuring the workings of active ingredients can be accelerated significantly. With 3D printing, tablets for dose evaluation - typically made by hand - can be printed with the required accuracy, and in many variations, with the click of a button. The shorter the time to market for a new medicine, the lower the development costs, and the longer it can be marketed as patented medicine. Importantly, this can contribute to significant reduction in health costs for society at large.

Close-up of the TNO Powder Based Printer set-up in operation

Highly targeted, effective, and patient-friendly medication can be created with 3D printing. The four main drivers for application are made-to-measure release profiles, tailored tablet shapes, multiple APIs in a single tablet and taste masking.  Each patient could receive the precise pharmaceutical solution to suit his/her health needs. This not only ensures maximum efficacy, but also maximum patient compliance and well-being.

Partnering for tomorrow

TNO is actively seeking to work with pharma and biotech companies to add further value to the pharma printing industry. Together with Erasmus MC Sophia Children’s Hospital, we are developing a method for creating personalised dosages of medications for children. This unprecedented advancement allows parents to ensure their children are getting the right dosage for their weight, in a controlled manner.

Leading the way

TNO is also actively pursuing partnerships with universities and leading experts in the field. Our aim is to further advance the technology and know-how necessary to make accurate, affordable and safe 3D-printed medications a reality. In the coming years, we expect to lead the revolution in the medical industry that will lead to healthier, easier treatments for us all.

Expertise

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Additive Manufacturing – or 3D printing – of food and pharmaceuticals has been recognised as a potentially market-changing advancement in health and nutrition. TNO has been developing Additive Manufacturing... Read more
TNO Insights

Making customised medication with a 3D printer

23 July 2020
Children are often given the same medication as adults, but in much lower doses. However, most medicines are not manufactured with this in mind. But now, thanks to 3D printing technology, it is possible... Read more
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Ing. Daniel van der Linden

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