Advances in powder bed fusion 3D printing in drug delivery and healthcare

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

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


Powder bed fusion (PBF) is a 3D printing method that selectively consolidates powders into 3D objects using a power source. PBF has various derivatives; selective laser sintering/melting, direct metal laser sintering, electron beam melting and multi-jet fusion. These technologies provide a multitude of benefits that make them well suited for the fabrication of bespoke drug-laden formulations, devices and implants. This includes their superior printing resolution and speed, and ability to produce objects without the need for secondary supports, enabling them to precisely create complex products. Herein, this review article outlines the unique applications of PBF 3D printing, including the main principles underpinning its technologies and highlighting their novel pharmaceutical and biomedical applications. The challenges and shortcomings are also considered, emphasising on their effects on the 3D printed products, whilst providing a forward-thinking view.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-424
Number of pages19
JournalAdvanced Drug Delivery Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • 3D printed drug products and oral dosage forms
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Digital pharmaceutical sciences
  • DMLS
  • Drug delivery systems and prosthesis
  • EBM
  • Formulation engineering and printlets
  • MJF
  • Personalized pharmaceuticals and medicines
  • SLM
  • SLS


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