Soon, 3D print your own prescription at will
Recently, we covered news on how 3D printers of the future could be used to create new human body parts. That’s something that may happen in a quarter of a century from now, but what about the present times; can 3D printers be used to cure diseases from your god-gifted body parts or for that matter, play some role in doing just that? Well, the answer is yes. According to the researchers at the University of Glasgow, soon we will have 3D printers that could create medicines.
The University researchers are currently working on an innovative printing process that would allow doctors and physicians to create their own pharmaceutical drugs. And over the course of time, it might be the case that even members from the general public, who do not have a doctorate or a pharmacy degree of their own to print drugs that the doctors prescribe to them.
The fact that very soon, people like you and I will be able to print medicines without sweating even a bit was echoed by Professor Lee Cronin, whose design paper on this very topic was recently published in Nature Chemistry. According to Cronin, since 3D printers are becoming "increasingly common and affordable," patients may one day have "access to a personal drug designer" that they could "use at home to create the medication they need."
If we talk about the paper of Professor Cronin, it talks about a do-it-yourself (DIY) drug store that utilizes a commercially available 3D printer along with design software that can be easily open-sourced. What this 3D printer does is it makes use of chemicals instead of inks to print medicines. The outcome of the research described in the paper is a 3D printer that would print a medicine that would chemicals inside a containing capsule. The university researchers call this “reactionware.”
Although the work is still in its early stages as the research team said, yet they also noted that developments like these will have long term benefits to healthcare especially in developing countries around the world, as it allows treatment to happen in a much more efficient and economical way.
All in all, it will be really great to see such a medicine dispensing printer in action. As of now, everything is in the hands of Professor Cronin and his team of able researchers as to when exactly can their research yield this boon to the medical industry.
Image by Rennett Stowe