Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University

Programable Release of 3D-Printed Drugs

Posted by Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew UniversityResponsive · Innovative Products and Technologies · Israel

Summary of the technology


Project ID : 6-2017-4487

Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University
Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University

Description of the technology


  • Conventional manufacturing of pharmaceutical dosage forms (e.g. tablets, capsules) are typically restricted to certain designs and materials and are commonly being used in a generic form of tablets or capsules with or without enteric coating.

Our Innovation

A novel approach for fabrication of a programmable oral dosage system in the form of responsive hydrogels, that can be swollen and then release a drug at specific conditions such as pH, by 3D Digital Light Processing (DLP) printing technology.

Oral dosage forms of pH responsive hydrogels were 3D printed using monomer (acrylic acid), cross-linker (PEGDA) and Photo-initiator (TPO nanoparticles) that lead to biocompatible polymers.

The currently developed programmable pharmaceutical oral formulations enable tight control over the dose, composition and bioavailability, than achieved by conventional dosage forms.

Hydrogels are three-dimensional cross-linked network of hydrophilic polymers which can be used for drug delivery systems for controlled drug release. For example using responsive hydrogels, it is possible to control the volume of the dosage form after uptake and to minimize drug release in the stomach while enhancing its release in the intestinal pH.

Key Features:

  • Faster drug release at higher pH, thus enabling the enhancement of drug absorption in the intestine.
  • Enhanced swelling tablets
  • Flexibility in the design and the manufacturing of structures with large surface area and complex geometries which can be utilized in personalized medicine
  • Can be used for fabrication of programmable delivery systems, with a variety of materials and functional properties. The unique drug release characteristics are not possible to fabricate by conventional pharmaceutical manufacturing methods


The technology is based on photo-polymerization, enabled by DLP for curing photo-reactive compositions. The localized polymerization is performed within a bath filled with a polymerizable ink, usually by proper focusing UV light. DLP allows high resolution, complex structures, low printing cost and large build size.

The printed structures exhibited pH responsiveness and structure dependence of swelling and release.

Fig. 1:Images of the 3D printed hydrogel tablets using DLP technique. (A. Box; B. Hemisphere; C. 5X5; D. Hive). E-F are scanning electron microscopy images of D and C shapes respectively. Photo: 3D Print. Med. 219–229, 2017)

Fig.2: Left: Images of Sulforhodamine B loaded 3D printed tablets with different shapes, before and after 24h swelling in phosphate buffer (pH 7.4); A. Box; B. Hemisphere; C. 5X5; D. Hive.

Right: Correlation between the tablet expansion and drug release in different 3D printed shape. Measurement were taken at 0,1,2,4,8 and 24 hours. Photo: 3D Print. Med. 219–229, 2017


Personalized and programmable medicine applications using oral delivery such as:

  • Retention time elongation for stomach drug delivery
  • Combination of several drugs to be released in different kinetics
  • Real time imaging of the intestine
  • Further enhancement of drug absorptions using nanoparticles integration
  • Blockage of intestine parts prior to surgeries or to substitute intestinal shortening surgery
  • Reducing appetite for diets.

Project manager

Shani Bullock
VP, Business Development, Healthcare

Project researchers

Shlomo Magdassi
HUJI, Faculty of Science
The Institute of Chemistry

Ofra Benny
HUJI, School of Medicine - IMRIC
School of Pharmacy- Institute for Drug Research

Related keywords

  • Materials Technology
  • Chemistry
  • Medicine, Human Health
  • Biology / Biotechnology
  • Genome Research
  • Micro- and Nanotechnology related to Biological sciences
  • 3D printing
  • 3D printing design and modelling
  • Recombinant DNA
  • Monoclonal Antibodies and Hybridomas
  • Gene Splicing and Manufacturing Equipment
  • Other Genetic Engineering
  • Molecular design Market
  • Microbiology Market
  • Micro- and Nanotechnology related to Biological sciences
  • Biochemistry / Biophysics Market
  • Toxicology Market
  • In vitro Testing, Trials Market
  • Stem cells and biobanks
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology Market
  • Population genetics Market
  • Gene Expression, Proteom Research Market
  • Bioinformatics Market
  • Enzymology/Protein Engineering/Fermentation
  • Genetic Engineering Market
  • Diagnostic
  • Therapeutic
  • Other Medical/Health Related
  • Agro and Marine biotech
  • Anatomy, Pathology, Immunology, Physiology
  • Clinical Medicine
  • Chemicals and Materials
  • Life Science & Biotechnology
  • Drug delivery

About Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University

Technology Transfer Office from Israel

Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Ltd. Founded in 1964 to protect and commercialize the Hebrew University’s intellectual property. Ranked among the top technology transfer companies, Yissum has registered over 8,900 patents covering 2,500 inventions; has licensed out 800 technologies and has spun-off 90 companies. Products that are based on Hebrew University technologies and were commercialized by Yissum generate today over $2 Billion in annual sales.

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