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June 06, 2010

Printing the Active Ingredients onto Pills

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Researchers at the University of Leeds, Durham University, and GlaxoSmithKline have teamed up to create pills that can be printed.

* 99.9 percent of a pill is filler

* Printing pills means literally printing the active ingredients of a medication onto the side of a tablet. To understand the concept of "printing," think of the active ingredients as tiny droplets that can be printed onto a surface the way ink is printed onto paper, but instead of paper, it's a tablet. That means pills could be individually made for each patient to fit their medical needs and one pill could potentially hold more than one type of medication.


This pill printing process can now only be applied to less than one percent of all pills on the market. But researchers hope to one day increase the number of printed pills to 40 percent.


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