Dr. Anson Ma

Talk Title: “3D Printing for Pharmaceutical Applications: Challenges and Opportunities”

Abstract: 3D Printing (3DP) uses computer-aided design to build objects layer-wise or drop-wise. 3DP complements subtractive manufacturing methods, where unwanted material is removed from a piece of feedstock material by cutting, drilling, or grinding. The additive approach of 3DP is well suited for mass customization and personalized medicine, where multiple drugs are combined at controlled levels to tailor for individual needs and genetic profiles. 3DP also shows great potential in producing small batches of samples for clinical trials, manufacturing fast disintegrating dosage forms for dysphagia patients, and engineering more complex drug release profile through changing the digital print designs. In this presentation, we will focus on the binder jetting (BJT) 3DP method. The presentation will begin by explaining the basic principle of BJT and sharing our lessons learnt in adapting a commercial turnkey printer for producing solid dosage forms. This will be followed by a discussion of our more recent work in scaling up the 3DP process through the design and development of a custom-built “HuskyJet” printer. This printer has been successfully used for producing both fast-disintegrating and sustained-release dosage forms with properties that are comparable to conventional tablets and at a rate that is similar to powder filling machines routinely used for early phase clinical trials. To accelerate and automate the optimization process, we have explored a rather ambitious concept of “autonomous 3D printing” by equipping this printer with the latest imaging and machine learning methods. The presentation will end with a summary of outstanding technical challenges and research collaboration opportunities.

Biography: Dr. Anson Ma is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Polymer at the University of Connecticut (UConn). His research group focuses on understanding and advancing 3D printing technologies. Dr. Ma currently serves as the UConn Site Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) SHAP3D Center for additive manufacturing and the United Technologies Corporation (UTC) Professor in Engineering Innovation. He has received several awards, including Distinguished Young Rheologist Award from TA Instruments, NSF CAREER award, Arthur B. Metzner Early Career award from the Society of Rheology, 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award, Early Career Award from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP)-UConn Chapter, UConn Polymer Program Director’s Award for Faculty Excellence, and U.S. Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship.