Top-Down and Bottom-Up Approaches in 3D Printing Technologies for Drug Delivery Challenges



Katakam P, Dey B, Assaleh FH, Hwisa NT, Adiki SK, Chandu BR, Mitra A.


Crit Rev Ther Drug Carrier Syst. 2015;32(1):61-87. doi: 10.1615/critrevtherdrugcarriersyst.2014011157.


3-Dimensional printing (3DP) constitutes a raft of technologies, based on different physical mechanisms, that generate a 3-dimensional physical object from a digital model. Because of its rapid fabrication and precise geometry, 3DP has gained a prominent focus in biomedical and nanobiomaterials research. Despite advancements in targeted, controlled, and pulsatile drug delivery, the achievement of site-specific and disease-responsive drug release and stringent control over in vivo biodistribution, are still some of the important, challenging areas for pharmaceutical research and development and existing drug delivery techniques. Microelectronic industries are capable of generating nano-/microdrug delivery devices at high throughputs with a highly precise control over design. Successful miniaturizations of micro-pumps with multireservoir architectures for delivery of pharmaceuticals developed by micro-electromechanical systems technology were more acceptable than implantable devices. Inkjet printing technologies, which dispense a precise amount of polymer ink solutions, find applications in controlled drug delivery. Bioelectronic products have revolutionized drug delivery technologies. Designing nanoparticles by nanoimprint lithography showed a controlled drug release pattern, biodistribution, and in vivo transport. This review highlights the “top-down” and “bottom-up” approaches of the most promising 3DP technologies and their broader applications in biomedical and therapeutic drug delivery, with critical assessment of its merits, demerits, and intellectual property rights challenges.

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Link/DOI: 10.1615/critrevtherdrugcarriersyst.2014011157