Sintratec’s entry level 3D printing system is the first SLS machine integrated into the university’s Pharm3D lab which is used by the Faculty of Pharmacy to explore the 3D printing of pharmaceuticals. The lab already boasts Stereolithography (SLA) and Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) technology.
Powder bed fusion technology is said to have piqued the interests of the students, scholars and professors using the facility since powders are commonplace in the pharmaceutical world. They are exploring the ability to create intricate tablet shapes with 3D printing technology, as well as customised dose accommodations. 3D printing also allows them to avoid the compression stage of a traditional tablet-making process. Perhaps a disadvantage of SLS technology is that excipients like mannitol or lactose cannot be laser sintered into a stable tablet on their own, but research within the Pharm3D Lab is being carried out into different initiators to help with the solidification process.
“We are proud to say this is the first, and for now, only 3D laboratory of pharmaceutics in Serbia,” commented Marijana Madzarevic, a third-year PhD student in Pharmaceutical Technology at University of Belgrade. “We want to investigate a variety of safe, pharmaceutical grade substances that help in the solidification of commonly available constituents of tablets and to easily form a tablet with target drug release (fast, slow, pulse), depending on the needs of the patients – overcoming the cons and maximising the benefits of selective laser sintering pharmaceutics.”
In addition to harnessing 3D printing technology to carry out research into new ways of producing tablet and treating patients, the University of Belgrade is also able to team theory with practice as it educates students.
“We are proud that we can show the students 3D printing technologies in actuality and not just talk about it,” added Madzarevic. “With the help of SLS, we can reshape the future of pharmacy.”