In this issue, we included three publications focusing on the current state of 3D printing pharmaceuticals and drug delivery devices. The first article is a review on the subject, the second is a recent publication on 3D printed microarray drug delivery system. The final publication focuses on a 3D printed self-adhesive bandage with drug release for peripheral nerve repair. “From Academia” features recent, relevant, close to commercialization academic publications in the space of healthcare 3D printing, 3D bioprinting, and related emerging technologies.
– Authored by Essyrose Mathew, Giulia Pitzanti, Eneko Larraneta, Dimitrios A. Lamprou. MDPI Pharmaceutics. 15 March 2020
The process of 3D printing (3DP) was patented in 1986; however, the research in the field of 3DP did not become popular until the last decade. There has been increasing research into the areas of 3DP for medical applications for fabricating prosthetics, bioprinting, and pharmaceutics. This novel method allows the manufacture of dosage forms on-demand, with modifications in the geometry and size resulting in changes to the release and dosage behavior of the product.
3D printing will allow wider adoption of personalized medicine due to the diversity and simplicity to change the design and dosage of the products, allowing the devices to be designed specifically to the individual with the ability to alternate the drugs added to the product. Personalization also has the potential to decrease the common side effects associated with generic dosage forms. This Special Issue Editorial outlines the current innovative research surrounding the topic of 3DP, focusing on bioprinting and various types of 3DP on applications for drug delivery as well as advantages and future directions in this field of research.
– Authored by Xiangjia Li Weitong Shan Yang Yang Dylan Joralmon Yizhen Zhu Yiyu Chen Yuan Yuan Han Xu Jiahui Rong Rui Dai Qiong Nian Yang Chai Yong Chen. Advanced Functional Materials, 7 October 2020
Microneedle arrays show many advantages in drug delivery applications due to their convenience and reduced risk of infection. Compared to other microscale manufacturing methods, 3D printing easily overcomes challenges in the fabrication of microneedles with complex geometric shapes and multifunctional performance. However, due to material characteristics and limitations on printing capability, there are still bottlenecks to overcome for 3D printed microneedles to achieve the mechanical performance needed for various clinical applications.
The hierarchical structures in limpet teeth, which are extraordinarily strong, result from aligned fibers of mineralized tissue and protein‐based polymer reinforced frameworks. These structures provide design inspiration for mechanically reinforced biomedical microneedles.
Here, a bioinspired microneedle array is fabricated using magnetic field‐assisted 3D printing (MF‐3DP).
Micro‐bundles of aligned iron oxide nanoparticles (aIOs) is encapsulated by polymer matrix during the printing process. A bioinspired 3D‐printed painless microneedle array is fabricated, and the suitability of this microneedle patch for drug delivery during long‐term wear is demonstrated. The results reported here provide insights into how the geometrical morphology of microneedles can be optimized for painless drug delivery in clinical trials.
Here is a companion article specifically on limpet teeth so you don’t have to look it up.
– Authored by Jiumeng Zhang, Yuwen Chen, Yulan Huang, Wenbi Wu, Xianming Deng, Haofan Liu, Rong Li, Jie Tao, Xiang Li, Xuesong Liu, and Maling Gou. Advanced Science. 19 October 2020
Peripheral nerve injury is a common disease that often causes disability and challenges surgeons. Drug‐releasable biomaterials provide a reliable tool to regulate the nerve healing‐associated microenvironment for nerve repair.
Here, a self‐adhesive bandage is designed that can form a wrap surrounding the injured nerve to promote nerve regeneration and recovery.
Via a 3D printing technique, the bandage is prepared with a special structure and made up of two different hydrogel layers that can adhere to each other by a click reaction. The nano drug is encapsulated in one layer with a grating structure. Wrapping the injured nerve, the grating layer of the bandage is close to the injured site. The drug can be mainly released to the inner area of the wrap to promote nerve repair by improving the proliferation and migration of Schwann cells.
In this study, the bandage is used to assist the neurorrhaphy for the treatment of complete sciatic nerve transection without obvious defect in rats. Results indicate that the self‐adhesive capacity can simplify the installation process and the drug‐loaded bandage can promote the repairing of injured nerves. The demonstrated 3D‐printed self‐adhesive bandage has a potential application in assisting the neurorrhaphy for nerve repair.