FabRx conduct paediatric visual preferences survey of 3D printed tablets

November 19, 2020 | News

FabRx in collaboration with researchers from University College London recently conducted a first of its kind survey where children ranked the visual acceptability of different 3D printed tablets (printlets). Previous studies have focused on adult patients, with little research on paediatric acceptability, and as such this study could revolutionise how we look at age-appropriate medicines.

Dosage acceptability and compliance are two of the biggest issues in paediatric medicine and there is extensive research focusing on improving these problems for patients. Common solutions include taste-masking or using liquid formulations, however traditional mass manufacturing has failed to completely resolve these issues. 3D printing of personalised dosage forms at the point of care could be the future of paediatric medicine, addressing all the previously mentioned issues as well as improving efficacy through personalised doses.

In this study, four different 3D printing technologies were used to prepare placebo printlets, as seen below.


Placebo printlets fabricated with the four different 3DP technologies. From left to right: digital light processing (DLP), selective laser sintering (SLS), semi-solid extrusion (SSE) and fused deposition modelling (FDM).


The DLP printlets were ranked as the most appealing whilst the FDM and SSE printlets were ranked as the worst. However, after being informed the SSE printlets were chewable, similar to a gummy sweet, the vast majority of participants changed their selection to the SSE printlets as most appealing. This surprising result showed that children’s preferences towards chewable dosage forms is a higher priority than the visual appearance of the dosage form.

When designing a paediatric dosage form appearance, perceived taste, texture and familiarity are all characteristics that should be considered to improve acceptability and compliance. Recently FabRx’s 3D printer M3DIMAKER™ was recognised by the WHO as an innovative delivery system for paediatric medicines due to the variety of ways doses can be personalised to a patient’s medical needs and preferences, including taste, colour and texture. This study further supports the case for 3D printing as a disruptive technology in the personalised medicine market. It is likely that 3D printing will become more popular in paediatric medicine as the numerous benefits of the technology become more well known.

Additional info: https://www.mdpi.com/1999-4923/12/11/1100


Background on FabRx

FabRx Ltd was established in 2014 by leading academics from University College London (UCL) and is recognised as a world leader in the application of 3D printing technology for medicines and medical devices. Since its initiation, FabRx has developed over seven different types of pharmaceutical 3D printers and in 2017 were awarded with the TCT Best Start Up Award. In 2019, FabRx conducted a world-first clinical study using 3D printed personalised doses, utilising their Printlets™ technology. In early 2020, following a grant from Innovate UK totalling near £1 million, FabRx launched M3DIMAKER™, the world’s first personalised medicine 3D printer. Recently, FabRx won the Excellence in Pharma: Manufacturing Technology and Equipment Award at the prestigious CPhI Pharma Awards for the M3DIMAKER™. FabRx’s founders have a wealth of experience in all aspects of oral drug formulation and knowledge of the challenges of bringing new medicines through regulatory processes of the pharmaceutical sector.


Global press contact:

FabRx Limited

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London WC1N 1AX


Phone: 07454887793


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