Additive manufacturing in respiratory sciences – Current applications and future prospects

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Additive Manufacturing (AM) comprises a variety of techniques that enable fabrication of customised objects with specific attributes. The versatility of AM procedures and constant technological improvements allow for their application in the development of medicinal products and medical devices. This review provides an overview of AM applications related to respiratory sciences. For this purpose, both fields of research are briefly introduced and the potential benefits of integrating AM to respiratory sciences at different levels of pharmaceutical development are highlighted. Tailored manufacturing of microstructures as a particle design approach in respiratory drug delivery will be discussed. At the dosage form level, we exemplify AM as an important link in the iterative loop of data driven inhaler design, rapid prototyping and in vitro testing. This review also presents the application of bioprinting in the respiratory field for design of biorelevant in vitro cellular models, followed by an overview of AM-related processes in preventive and therapeutic care. Finally, this review discusses future prospects of AM as a component in a digital health environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114341
JournalAdvanced Drug Delivery Reviews
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge and funding from NordForsk for the Nordic University Hub project #85352 (Nordic POP, Patient Oriented Products). The authors thank Martin Wegener and Pascal Kiefer from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) for providing SEM images of additively manufactured particles. SB was further awarded a DDL Career Development Grant 2021 from the Aerosol Society.

    Research areas

  • 3D printing, Airways, Bioprinting, Drug delivery to the lungs, Inhalation, Particle design, Rapid Prototyping

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