Sunday, February 18, 2018
3D Printed Edible QR Codes can be Our Medicine in the Future
2/8/2018 5:11:14 PM
Arthur J. Villasanta - Fourth Estate Contributor

Copenhagen, Denmark (4E) - Researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and Åbo Akademi University in Finland have developed a new method for producing medicine -- they 3D print medicines in QR coded patterns onto an edible material, which are then taken by patients.

The shape of the QR code also enables storage of data in the "pill" itself.

This radical production method can be tailored to fit each patient and has the potential to protect against wrong medication and fake medicine, according to the researchers.

Over the past 100 years, methods for the production of medicine haven't moved away from mass production. Many an ill person gets the same medicine with equal amounts of an active compound. 3D printing medicine, however, allows each drug to be tailor fit to the unique needs of each patient.

"This technology is promising, because the medical drug can be dosed exactly the way you want it to. This gives an opportunity to tailor the medication according to the patient getting it," said Dr Natalja Genina, Assistant Professor at the Department of Pharmacy of the University of Copenhagen.

"Simply doing a quick scan, you can get all the information about the pharmaceutical product. In that sense it can potentially reduce cases of wrong medication and fake medicine."

Researchers hope a regular printer will be able to apply the medical drug in the pattern of a QR code. The edible material will have to be produced in advance to allow on-demand production of medicines in locations close to patients.

"If we are successful with applying this production method to relatively simple printers, then it can enable the innovative production of personalized medicine and rethinking of the whole supply chain," said Prof Jukka Rantanen from the Department of Pharmacy.

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