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- Thursday, 5 March, 2020

Customizable medicine development in Pécs

Researchers at the University of Pécs Faculty of Pharmacy and the 3D Center are developing more effective, customizable medicines than conventional tablets. The super pills would first be used in clinics but in the distant future, we may be able to buy medicines made specially for us in pharmacies.

 “Traditional medicine manufacturing with compression technology also has a lot of capabilities but there are significant technological limitations. One of the most important of these is the combination of the various active substances in a single medicine: the compression technology allows a total of about three agents to be placed in a single tablet because they mix and react with each other, ”says dr. Szilárd Pál, director of the UP Faculty of Pharmacy Institute of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmacy.

The new solution developed by the institute's researchers allows the combination of up to 10 different active substances. The essence of the method lies in the structure of the tablets. The interior of the medicines made with 3D printing are mostly reminiscent of honeycomb cells, the different active substances can be placed in separate compartments so that they do not react with each other prematurely. A 3D printed tablet can replace up to 5-6 conventional medicines. Because of the structure of the tablets, not only the combination of the active substances but also the rate at which they are absorbed can be controlled, personalized medicines can be made locally for patients in clinics and hospitals.

It is still common for some substances to be individually prepared in a pharmacy for the patients and based on this it is conceivable that in a few decades, the medicines will be printed locally after the patient brings the prescription to the pharmacy. Printing medicines can provide a solution to the so-called "orphan medicines", which have been developed for people with very rare diseases but are not mass-produced due to the relatively small number of patients. Although the number of people suffering from certain diseases is low, there are many patients in total and in many cases they come from the most vulnerable groups, such as children with rare metabolic disorders. Of course, all this requires a lot of research and development and this is where the technical and professional assistance provided by the University's 3D Center comes into play.

 “During our first experiments, we used polylactic acid-based (PLA) composites to print with the researchers of the Institute of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmacy to test different fill percentages, patterns, and printing orientations. This is followed by the design of preclinical experiments and the design and production of the necessary samples. Together with the institute, we are also planning to purchase a set of devices for the production of pharmaceutical raw materials, aiming to achieve the most accurate and optimal active substance concentrations of the personalized medicine, ” said dr. Péter Maróti, professional coordinator of UP 3D Center.

Source:

Dunántúli Napló

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