Background: 3D printing (3DP) is an emerging technique for fabrication of a variety of structures and complex geometries using 3D model data. In 1986, Charles Hull introduced stereolithography technique that took advances to beget new methods of 3D printing such as powder bed fusion, fused deposition modeling (FDM), inkjet printing, and contour crafting (CC). Being advantageous in terms of less waste, freedom of design and automation, 3DP has been evolved to minimize incurred cost for bulk production of customized products at the industrial outset. Due to these reasons, 3DP technology has acquired a significant position in pharmaceutical industries. Numerous polymers have been explored for manufacturing of 3DP based drug delivery systems for patient-customized medication with miniaturized dosage forms.
Method: Published research articles on 3D printed based drug delivery have been thoroughly studied and the polymers used in those studies are summarized in this article.
Results: We have discussed the polymers utilized to fabricate 3DP systems including their processing considerations, and challenges in fabrication of high throughput 3DP based drug delivery systems.
Conclusion: Despite several advantages of 3DP in drug delivery, there are still a few issues that need to be addressed such as lower mechanical properties and anisotropic behavior, which are obstacles to scale up the technology. Polymers as a building material certainly plays crucial role in the final property of the dosage form. It is an effort to bring an assemblage of critical aspects for scientists engaged in 3DP technology to create flexible, complex and personalized dosage forms.