FDA ushers in new era of 3D printing of medical products and provides guidance to manufacturers of medical devices

FDA – Once considered a futuristic technology on the distant horizon, 3D printing of medical devices, medications and human tissue is quickly becoming a promising reality. Patients have already benefitted from 3D printed medical products through access to personalized devices and innovative drugs that have led to significant health improvements. But the FDA is now preparing for a significant wave of new technologies that are nearly certain to transform medical practice. We’re working to provide a more comprehensive regulatory pathway that keeps pace with those advances, and helps facilitate efficient access to safe and effective innovations that are based on these technologies.

The FDA has reviewed more than 100 devices currently on the market that were manufactured on 3D printers. These include patient-matched devices tailored to fit a patient’s anatomy. Examples include knee replacements and implants designed to fit like a missing puzzle piece into a patient’s skull for facial reconstruction. We also approved the first drug produced on a 3D printer, which is used to treat seizures and has a more porous matrix than the drug manufactured in the traditional way, enabling the drug to dissolve more rapidly in the mouth to work faster. This is likely just the tip of the iceberg given the exponential growth of innovative research in this field.

Read more at FDA.

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Jonathan JuursemaCC BY-SA 3.0