Smartphone-enabled 3D printing of medicines

Xiaoyan Xu, Alejandro Seijo-Rabina, Atheer Awad, Carlos Rial, Simon Gaisford, Abdul W. Basit, Alvaro Goyanes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


3D printing is a manufacturing technique that is transforming numerous industrial sectors, particularly where it is key tool in the development and fabrication of medicinees that are personalised to the individual needs of patients. Most 3D printers are relatively large, require trained operators and must be located in a pharmaceutical setting to manufacture dosage forms. In order to realise fully the potential of point-of-care manufacturing of medicines, portable printers that are easy to operate are required. Here, we report the development of a 3D printer that operates using a mobile smartphone. The printer, operating on stereolithographic principles, uses the light from the smartphone's screen to photopolymerise liquid resins and create solid structures. The shape of the printed dosage form is determined using a custom app on the smartphone. Warfarin-loaded Printlets (3D printed tablets) of various sizes and patient-centred shapes (caplet, triangle, diamond, square, pentagon, torus, and gyroid lattices) were successfully printed to a high resolution and with excellent dimensional precision using different photosensitive resins. The drug was present in an amorphous form, and the Printlets displayed sustained release characterises. The promising proof-of-concept results support the future potential of this compact, user-friendly and interconnected smartphone-based system for point-of-care manufacturing of personalised medications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121199
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2021


  • Additive Manufacturing of formulations and drug delivery systems
  • Digital Healthcare and Industry 4.0
  • Personalized Medicines
  • Printing Pharmaceuticals
  • Three-dimensional printing of drug products
  • Vat photopolymerization


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