The Use of natural Products in 3D Printing of Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms

  • Touraj Ehtezazi Liverpool John Moores Univerity
  • Satyajit Sarker



Three-dimensional printing (3DP) has been investigated widely for applications in pharmaceutical sciences. Different 3DP techniques have been employed such as fused deposition modelling (FDM 3DP), powder bed 3DP, stereolithography 3DP (SLA 3DP), selective laser sintering (SLS 3DP), pates-extrusion 3DP and inkjet 3DP.


This article aims to explore the use of natural products as active ingredient or excipient.


Literature search was conduced for latest applications of 3DP for pharmaceutical dosage forms, and typical employed materials were identified.


Polymeric materials form the main bulk of 3DP excipients such as polyvinyl alcohol or ploy lactic acid. Chemical stabilisers may be added to these polymers to increase their stability at high temperatures during hot melt extrusion for making filaments or printing. In addition, photoinitiators have been added such as diphenyl(2,4,6-trimethylbenzoyl) phosphine oxide in SLA 3DP, or candurin gold sheen in SLS 3DP. Presence of lead has been detected in FDM £DP, which originated from the nozzle. Currently, natural products have been employed only in paste extrusion 3DP of pharmaceutical dosage forms. We have identified a protentional natural thermoplastic polymer that may be used in 3DP FDM.


Natural products may be employed in 3DP of pharmaceutical dosage forms to improve the safety profile of printed objects.


Key words: Three-dimensional printing; polymers; thermoplastics; photoinitiators, natural polymers