The Breakthrough

Researchers from the University of Texas and University of Akron were able to produce 3D printed micro-needles for the purpose of drug delivery. The pioneering technique offers "a pain-free drug delivery device that would allow drugs to diffuse within the body as the biomaterial device degrades in the body." Even though the process in making the micro-printed needles was difficult due to the non-printable solvents and drugs in the biomaterial, the needles were able to handle the strains it would experience when inserted in the body.

The Implications

Since the process is still being researched on, some of the areas of improvement are a more controlled and faster drug release from the needles. The author of the study, Jae-Won Chi, believes that this will require more material research and hopes that the micro-printed needles will be used clinically in 5-10 years.

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