3D printing applications for transdermal drug delivery

Sophia N. Economidou, Dimitrios A. Lamprou*, Dennis Douroumis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

156 Citations (Scopus)


The role of two and three-dimensional printing as a fabrication technology for sophisticated transdermal drug delivery systems is explored in literature. 3D printing encompasses a family of distinct technologies that employ a virtual model to produce a physical object through numerically controlled apparatuses. The applicability of several printing technologies has been researched for the direct or indirect printing of microneedle arrays or for the modification of their surface through drug-containing coatings. The findings of the respective studies are presented. The range of printable materials that are currently used or potentially can be employed for 3D printing of transdermal drug delivery (TDD) systems is also reviewed. Moreover, the expected impact and challenges of the adoption of 3D printing as a manufacturing technique for transdermal drug delivery systems, are assessed. Finally, this paper outlines the current regulatory framework associated with 3D printed transdermal drug delivery systems.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Early online date20 Jan 2018
Publication statusEarly online date - 20 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D Printing
  • Inkjet printing
  • Microneedles
  • Patches
  • Pharmaceutics
  • Transdermal delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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