The Netherlands-based independent research organization TNO is far of a one trick pony; the collective has contributed numerous innovations in both 3D printing innovation and beyond. Having may already conquered 3D printing conclude food products over the past couple of years, TNO has come to realize that the ‘ingredients’ utilized for food-based 3D printing are somehow much identical to those needed to 3D print pharmaceutical drugs. This has led TNO to expand their 3D printing innovation into the medical field, and are now trying to that successfully 3D print biocompatible oral dosage forms (ODFs) for safe human intake.


The pharmaceutical research is being led by TNO’s Sr. Business Developer Predictive Health Technologies Steven Erpelinck. Not only is TNO looking to replicate traditionally generated ODFs with their 3D printing innovation, they are in fact looking to improve it too. By utilizing 3D printing, TNO believes that pharmaceutical drugs can be created in a much additional free and expansive way. Potential facts that can become additional accessible through 3D printing innovation comes with API dosage and distribution, excipient use and distribution, and in addition tablet structure and shape. Here is the full list of future advantages to via 3D printing innovation to create ODFs:

  • Easy fabrication of ODFs with varying dosages.
  • Fabrication of ODFs with specific, created release profiles.
  • Easy fabrication of ODFs containing multiple APIs.
  • Fabrication of ODFs with created internal structure (e.g. micro-channels).
  • Fabrication of one-of-a-kind ODF shapes (marketing, anti-counterfeiting).


TNO is not only stopping at the production of these ODFs, they obviously must be tested on bio-similar vitro platforms to ensure safe consumption. This is why they have created testing platforms such as the InTESTine, that replicates various parts of the human GI tract. By testing these ODFs on the InTESTine, TNO can investigate only how biocompatible these 3D printed ODFs are with the human body. “These ex-vivo experiments represent the human gut physiology and has shown to be quite predictive investigating the oral bio-availability in humans,”said Erpelinck. From food to pharma, TNO has go ond their top-notch research on 3D printing innovation, and can go on to investigate bio-availability and personalized medicine through their 3D printed ODFs.

Tyler Koslow

About The Author

Tyler Koslow is a Brooklyn-based writer for 3D Printing Industry, and has in addition generated content for publications and companies such as Dell, Brooklyn Magazine, and Equity Arcade. His content is focutilized on a wide range of topics which include tech, gaming, and music . Tyler is in addition a habitual instrument player, a writer of fiction, and generally all around fun haver. Tyler obtained a Bachelor’s degree studying English-Creative Writing at the University of Central Florida in 2008.