Inkjet printing for pharmaceutics – A review of research and manufacturing

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Global regulatory, manufacturing and consumer trends are driving a need for change in current pharmaceutical sector business models, with a specific focus on the inherently expensive research costs, high-risk capital-intensive scale-up and the traditional centralised batch manufacturing paradigm. New technologies, such as inkjet printing, are being explored to radically transform pharmaceutical production processing and the end-to-end supply chain. This review provides a brief summary of inkjet printing technologies and their current applications in manufacturing before examining the business context driving the exploration of inkjet printing in the pharmaceutical sector. We then examine the trends reported in the literature for pharmaceutical printing, followed by the scientific considerations and challenges facing the adoption of this technology. We demonstrate that research activities are highly diverse, targeting a broad range of pharmaceutical types and printing systems. To mitigate this complexity we show that by categorising findings in terms of targeted business models and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) chemistry we have a more coherent approach to comparing research findings and can drive efficient translation of a chosen drug to inkjet manufacturing.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)554-567
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number2
Early online date12 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2015


    Research areas

  • Inkjet, Drop-on-demand, Continuous inkjet, Pharmaceutical printing, Continuous manufacturing

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