Antibiotic and chemotherapeutic enhanced three-dimensional printer filaments and constructs for biomedical applications

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Three-dimensional (3D) printing and additive manufacturing holds potential for highly personalized medicine, and its introduction into clinical medicine will have many implications for patient care. This paper demonstrates the first application of 3D printing as a method for the potential sustained delivery of antibiotic and chemotherapeutic drugs from constructs for patient treatment. Our design is focused on the on-demand production of anti-infective and chemotherapeutic filaments that can be used to create discs, beads, catheters, or any medical construct using a 3D printing system. The design parameters for this project were to create a system that could be modularly loaded with bioactive agents. All 3D-printed constructs were loaded with either gentamicin or methotrexate and were optimized for efficient and extended antibacterial and cancer growth-inhibiting cytostatic activity. Preliminary results demonstrate that combining gentamicin and methotrexate with polylactic acid forms a composite possessing a superior combination of strength, versatility, and enhanced drug delivery. Antibacterial effects and a reduction in proliferation of osteosarcoma cells were observed with all constructs, attesting to the technical and clinical viability of our composites. In this study, 3D constructs were loaded with gentamicin and methotrexate, but the method can be extended to many other drugs. This method could permit clinicians to provide customized and tailored treatment that allows patient-specific treatment of disease and has significant potential for use as a tunable drug delivery system with sustained-release capacity for an array of biomedical applications.




Weisman, J. A., Nicholson, J. C., Tappa, K., Jammalamadaka, U., Wilson, C. G., & Mills, D. (2015). Antibiotic and chemotherapeutic enhanced three-dimensional printer filaments and constructs for biomedical applications. International Journal of Nanomedicine, 10, 357–370.

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