Background: 3D printing/Additive Manufacturing seems a pragmatic approach to realize the quest for a truly customized and personalized drug delivery. 3DP technology, with innovations in pharmaceutical development and an interdisciplinary approach to finding newer Drug Delivery Systems can usher a new era of treatments to various diseases. The true potential of this is yet to be realized, and the US-FDA is focusing on the regulatory science of 3D printed medical devices to help patients access this technology safely and effectively. The approval of the first 3D printed prescription medicine by FDA is a promising step in the translation of more research in this area.
Methods: A web-search on PubMed, ScienceDirect, and Nature was performed with the keywords Customized 3D printing and Drug delivery, publications dealing with the aspects of drug delivery using 3D printing for personalized or customized delivery were further considered and analyzed and discussed.
Results: We present the advantages offered by 3DP over conventional methods of formulation development and discuss the current state of 3DP in pharmaceutics and how it can be used to develop a truly customized drug delivery system, various 3DP technologies including Stereolithography (SLA), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM), Pressure Assisted Microsyringe (PAM) that have been used to develop pharmaceutical products have been discussed along with their limitations and also the regulatory considerations to help formulation scientists envisaging research in this area with the necessary information.
Conclusion: 3D printing has the potential to fabricate a customized drug delivery system. Presence of many drug formulation and the devices are already in the regulatory approval process indicating its success.