3D printed drug delivery devices: perspectives and technical challenges

Mirja Palo, Jenny Holländer, Jaakko Suominen, J Yliruusi, Niklas Sandler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Article or Literature Reviewpeer-review

140 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The technological advancements in the pharmaceutical field are constantly improving and provide various possibilities for meeting the needs of personalized drug therapy. The three-dimensional (3D) printing technology has endless potential in the fabrication of patient-specific drug delivery devices (DDD) and dosage forms as the technological development is progressing. Moreover, the rapidly evolving research on 3D printed DDD has enabled us to determine several challenges related to the manufacturing and marketing of personalized drug delivery systems.

Areas covered: In this review, an overview is provided on the relevant accomplishments in the development of 3D printed drug delivery systems, as well as the technical challenges surrounding the 3D printing of personalized drug-loaded medical devices and dosage forms. Furthermore, observations are presented on the future perspectives of pharmaceutical 3D printing.

Expert commentary: The 3D printing has enabled the fabrication of prototypes of DDD with varying complexity and shows that customization of drug products is possible. There is potential to improve patient-specific drug therapies of the future using printing technologies. The technological advancements, new scientific concepts, interdisciplinary work and defined regulatory guidelines will continue to support and strengthen the prospects of 3D printing as an option in the manufacture of medical products.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)685–696
JournalExpert Review of Medical Devices
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • Personalized medicine
  • oral drug delivery
  • Fused deposition modelling
  • Three-dimensional printing
  • Solid freeform fabrication
  • Tailored dosage forms

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