Mapping current trends in 3D printing and the impact on the recent landscape of drug development research


Three Dimensional (3D) printing within the pharmaceutical industry is rapidly developing and current trends within drug development include the 3D printing of oral dosage forms, implants, hydrogels and topical drug delivery systems. 3D printed dosage forms can be used to treat a range of conditions varying from cardiovascular disease to recovery from orthopaedic surgery and the prevention of infection. Compared to traditional manufacturing methods, 3D printing allows the precise spatial control and deposition of material as layers. This results in a large degree of printing flexibility and means that a variety of complex designs can be printed accurately. By controlling factors such as the type of polymer, drug load and surface area a variety of controlled release dosage formulations can be produced and application in personalised medicine holds promise. Multiple release oral dosage forms can also be printed as well as those containing more than one Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) which addresses polypharmacy and should aid medical treatment. This review studies recent trends in 3D printing and drug development, and current drawbacks are examined to evaluate the future potential to manufacture dosage forms.


additive manufacture, dosage form manufacture, personalised medicine, Pharmaceutical 3D printing

How to Cite

Russell, C. & Hampshire, H., (2018) “Mapping current trends in 3D printing and the impact on the recent landscape of drug development research”, British Journal of Pharmacy 3(1). doi:







Craig Russell (Aston University)
Harriet Hampshire (Aston University)





Creative Commons Attribution 4.0


Peer Review

This article has been peer reviewed.

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