3D printing: Principles and pharmaceutical applications of selective laser sintering

Atheer Awad, Fabrizio Fina, Alvaro Goyanes, Simon Gaisford, Abdul W. Basit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Citations (Scopus)


Pharmaceutical three-dimensional (3D) printing is a modern fabrication process with the potential to create bespoke drug products of virtually any shape and size from a computer-aided design model. Selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D printing combines the benefits of high printing precision and capability, enabling the manufacture of medicines with unique engineering and functional properties. This article reviews the current state-of-the-art in SLS 3D printing, including the main principles underpinning this technology, and highlights the diverse selection of materials and essential parameters that influence printing. The technical challenges and processing conditions are also considered in the context of their effects on the printed product. Finally, the pharmaceutical applications of SLS 3D printing are covered, providing an emphasis on the advantages the technology offers to drug product manufacturing and personalised medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119594
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2020


  • 3D printed drug products
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Digital health
  • Gastrointestinal drug delivery systems
  • Personalized medicines
  • Powder bed fusion
  • Printlets


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