Recent drug delivery applications have stressed the need for precise dosage in the context of complex delivery vehicles. Ink-jet technology incorporates data-driven, non-contact techniques that enable precise, picoliter volumes of material to be deposited with high speed and accuracy at target sites (even onto non-planar surfaces) and thus has emerged as a front runner for drug delivery applications. Being data-driven, ink-jet dispensing is highly flexible and can be readily automated into manufacturing lines. Moreover, the ability to precisely target the delivery location reduces waste, an important factor when the active biological materials to be deposited are high value / high cost. Some of the applications that have made use of ink-jet methods for dosage and distribution of biologically active agents are: loading of active agents onto drug eluting stents (DES); generation of drug loaded microspheres; fabrication of polymeric nerve conduits loaded with nerve growth factor; and coating of the active components onto patches for transdermal delivery. This paper provides details on the manufacturing applications of ink-jet technology in drug delivery and discusses future potential uses and opportunities.

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