3D printing proves to be a cornerstone in latest innovation in medication delivery

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Recent years have seen advancement in the world of 3D printing and a latest innovation could mean that medical professionals can provide personalised medical devices that can deliver antibiotics and chemotherapy in targeted manner.

Using 3D printing technology, the researchers developed bioactive filaments, chemotherapy beads, catheters and stents containing antibiotics or chemotherapeutic agents.

“The 3-D printing allows for tailor-made materials for personalised medicine,” said lead researcher Horacio D’Agostino from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUH) in Shreveport.

“We treat a wide variety of patients and, with some patients, the current one-size-fits-all devices are not an option,” said D’Agostino. Researchers added added that this particular technology allows them to “construct devices that meet individual patient’s needs, from their unique anatomy” thereby enabling them to address specific medicine requirements.

“And as tools in interventional radiology, these devices are part of treatment options that are less invasive than traditional surgery,” he added.

The team then tested these devices in cell cultures to see if they could inhibit growth of bacteria and cancer cells. When testing antibiotic-containing catheters that could slowly release the drug, D’Agostino’s team found that the devices inhibited bacterial growth.

Researchers also saw that filaments carrying chemotherapeutic agents were able to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

The findings were presented at the ongoing 40th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society of Interventional Radiology at Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.