Pro-drug Technology: Additive Manufacturing of Personalised Drug Dosage Forms


Innovative 3D printable prodrugs are used to create solid dosage forms using additive manufacturing (AM) technology. Active ingredients, such as ibuprofen/paracetamol,  loaded tablets would contain one or more structures and cavities (or similar) to provide a tailorable drug release profile and enable customisable delay/transit through the stomach/GI tract. In addition, use of AM multi-material inkjet 3D printing enables precise creation of dosage forms incorporating customizable structures/API layers that provide highly tailorable drug release profiles based on dosage form design, geometry, dissolution profile, including materials which respond to external factors, e.g., changing pH levels.


  • Innovative polymerised pro-drug formulations produced via Additive Manufacturing (AM)
  • Drug molecules bonded to reactive monomer by decomposable bonding to form reactive pro-drug
  • Reactive pro-drug then polymerized during AM process (e.g. 3D printing etc) into macromolecules with drug attached
  • Ability to create 3D forms (tablets, medical inserts etc) using low viscous and high drug loading formulations
  • Flexibility and control via polymerisation and AM processes results in highly controllable / tailorable release dosage forms


Key Benefits

  • Ability to create various personalised medicines (e.g. tablet, inserts etc) with tuneable release dose profiles tailored for groups, conditions or even individuals
  • UON technology outperforms know technologies (competitors <10% drug loading, UON has >50%)
  • Process adaptable to range of formulations and AM processes
  • Support premium drug brands –seeking innovation / differentiation


  • Exemplar system synthesized using a model drug (Ibuprofen)
  • Shown to exhibit 54% drug loading and suitably for material jetting (3D printing)
  • Range of formulations developed and successfully printed
  • Resulting pro-drug 3D structures demonstrated tailorable spatial drug distribution and dose releasing behaviours -with tuneable releasing speed: release control was achieved from molecular level, geometric level, and spatial distribution level


  • Patented, seeking coloration / licensing opportunities


Peter McLeod - Licensing Executive

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Peter McLeod
Licencing Executive (Engineering)
The University of Nottingham
Ricky Wildman
Yinfeng He
Giuseppe Mantovani
Derek Irvine
Clive Roberts
Richard Hague
Christopher Tuck
Vincenzo Taresco
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