According to the University of NottinghamOver £6m in new research projects have been awarded to develop a toolkit that enables 3D printed medicine Manufactured Effectively – Bringing innovations such as bio-individualized tablets and “living plaster” closer to commercial production.
Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the five-year project is a collaboration led by researchers from the University of Nottingham’s School of Engineering and Pharmacy, along with the Universities of Cambridge, Reading and Strathclyde.
Together, the team will develop a toolkit that will enable the industry to identify, select and process the right materials to 3D print into new regenerative medicines and pharmaceuticals.
“The current lack of agility in manufacturing in the UK hinders the development of 3D printing in certain areas of the industry. “Many pharmaceutical companies do not know how to use 3D printing to move from concept to reality. I don’t know what the geometric profiles are capable of, and this new project aims to provide all this information in order to enable commercial applications.”
The team uses computational modeling and machine learning to create instructions that the industry uses to accelerate the development cycle of new drugs. This could cut the timeline from his two years to six months.
As part of the project, three investigational drugs will be developed and tested. All of these rely on the incorporation of proteins or enzymes to promote cell growth, are customizable, complex and require multiple ingredients.
The team is testing biological pills that could replace injected vaccines. This 3D-printed, personalized pill can be mailed to a patient for easy administration, eliminating the logistics, shipping, and medication administration issues.
Intestinal patches, or “living plasters,” have also been developed. Gypsum calms inflammation and may help patients with Crohn’s disease and bowel disease. Gypsum is laid on the internal area and releases active ingredients to heal and support cell regeneration.
“While these products are in their early stages, we are excited to develop these innovations to demonstrate the capabilities of our 3D printing toolkit and how materials can be combined to deliver safe, effective, low-cost personalized medicines. We hope to be able to show that,” said Clive Roberts, Professor of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham.
Professor Mohammad llyas, Consultant, NHS Nottingham, said: “More importantly, if successful, it will lead to a paradigm shift in clinical management and initiate the use of self-tissue engineering therapies for the treatment of bowel disease.”