Photocurable Poly(ethylene glycol) as a Bioink for the Inkjet 3D Pharming of Hydrophobic Drugs

Tech ID: 31792 / UC Case 2018-197-0


UCLA researchers in the Department of Bioengineering have developed a novel inkjet 3D pharming technique that is fast, customizable, and compatible with hydrophobic drugs.


3D pharming is an innovative technique that combines 3D printing and 2D material deposition to create personalized drug tablets that allow multi-drug delivery at customized dosages. This personalized medicine technology can improve clinical outcomes by reducing side effects and maintaining optimal efficacy. However, existing technologies for 3D pharming have many drawbacks, including high operating temperature and UV light utilization. These harsh fabricating conditions can degrade thermally sensitive active pharmaceutical ingredients. Additionally, most materials used in 3D pharming are only suitable for hydrophilic drugs and other materials used are not biologically compatible.


A novel inkjet 3D pharming technique using hyaluronic acid-based photocurable bioink was developed to fabricate sustained release personalized pharmaceutical tablets. This technique can 3D print multiple hydrophobic drugs with visible light at high speed, room temperature and customized dosages. This allows 3D pharming of UV sensitive and temperature sensitive drugs. The highly efficient manufacturing process utilizing preformed tablets ensures 100% drug load localization in the product and can be operated at drug dispensing or point-of-care facilities.


  • 3D Pharming 
  • 3D printing of other biocompatible materials for medical and research applications
    • 3D culture networks 
    • Organ grafting scaffolds


  • Fast 
  • Can be conducted with visible light at room temperature
  • Biocompatible materials 
  • Good for hydrophobic drugs 
  • Sustained release 
  • Customizable

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
Patent Cooperation Treaty Published Application WO2019236891 12/12/2019 2018-197

Additional Patent Pending


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  • Wu, Benjamin M.

Other Information


3D Pharming, Hyaluronic acid, Bioink, Inkjet 3D printing, Hydrophobic, Photocurable, Poly(ethylene glycol), Drug, Tablets

Categorized As