3D Printing Pharmaceuticals: Drug Development to Frontline Care

Sarah J. Trenfield, Atheer Awad, Alvaro Goyanes, Simon Gaisford, Abdul W. Basit

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

278 Citations (Scopus)


3D printing (3DP) is forecast to be a highly revolutionary technology within the pharmaceutical sector. In particular, the main benefits of 3DP lie in the production of small batches of medicines, each with tailored dosages, shapes, sizes and release characteristics. The manufacture of medicines in this way may finally lead to the concept of personalised medicines becoming a reality. In the shorter term, 3DP could be extended throughout the drug development process, ranging from preclinical development and clinical trials, through to frontline medical care. In this review, we provide a timely perspective on the motivations and potential applications of 3DP pharmaceuticals, as well as a practical viewpoint on how 3DP could be integrated across the pharmaceutical space.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-451
Number of pages12
JournalTrends in Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


  • additive manufacturing
  • clinical trials
  • drug development
  • first-in-human
  • personalised medicines
  • three-dimensional printing


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