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International Journal of Pharmaceutics
Volume 599, 2021, 120443

2D and 3D inkjet printing of biopharmaceuticals – A review of trends and future perspectives in research and manufacturing

Susannah Elizabeth Evansa,Tomás Harringtonb, Maria Cristina Rodriguez Riveroa, Etienne Rognina, Tri Tuladharc, Ronan Dalya

Institute for Manufacturing, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge (UK), UK.


There is an ongoing global shift in pharmaceutical business models from small molecule drugs to biologics. This increase in complexity is in response to advancements in our diagnoses and understanding of diseases. With the more targeted approach coupled with its inherently more costly development and manufacturing, 2D and 3D printing are being explored as suitable techniques to deliver more personalised and affordable routes to drug discovery and manufacturing. In this review, we explore first the business context underlying this shift to biopharmaceuticals and provide an update on the latest work exploring discovery and pharmaceutics. We then draw on multiple disciplines to help reveal the shared challenges facing researchers and firms aiming to develop biopharmaceuticals, specifically when using the most commonly explored manufacturing routes of drop-on-demand inkjet printing and pneumatic extrusion. This includes separating out how to consider mechanical and chemical influences during manufacturing, the role of the chosen hardware and the challenges of aqueous formulation based on similar challenges being faced by the printing industry. Together, this provides a review of existing work and guidance for researchers and industry to help with the de-risking and rapid development of future biopharmaceutical products.

Keywords: Inkjet, 3D printing, Biopharmaceutical printing, Digital manufacturing.

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