The Role of Semi-Solid Extrusion Printing in Clinical Practice
Residing under the umbrella term of ‘material extrusion’, semi-solid extrusion (SSE) 3D printing deposits gels or pastes in sequential layers to create a solid object. The physical nature of the feedstock allows SSE to print quickly at low temperatures with little compromise in accuracy. As a result, the technology has been extensively adopted in the field of bioprinting in which SSE can print living cells able to create large, complex structures of human tissue. In terms of pharmaceutical formulation, SSE is relatively unused. By building on the advancements made in other fields, the unique attributes of SSE printing are beginning to come to the fore. In particular, the ability of SSE to create complex tablets at a low heat means the technology has the potential to make on demand, personalised dosages within a clinical setting. As a result, the infancy of SSE in pharmaceutics should not be seen as a sign of inferiority but rather a real opportunity to bring 3D printing into the clinic.
KeywordsThree-dimensional printing Printing pharmaceuticals Additive manufacturing Personalized medications Medical devices Drug delivery systems
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