Earlier this year, professor Lee Cronin at Glasgow University explained what the benefits of 3D printed drugs could be, but then for a long time we didn’t hear anything about the – highly interesting – field of 3D drugs. Until today. Well, although today’s subject is still not technically a 3D printed drugs topic, it is in fact an interesting development in the world where drugs and 3D printing meet. An Israeli company is using 3D printing technology to design marijuana inhalers. Their inhalers are purposed to be used in hospitals, but are for private usage as well. In addition, they are small enough to fit in one’s pocket.
The inhaler is called the Syqe Inhaler and a design team consisting of engineers, chemists, pharmacologists, physicians as well as biologists has been working on this project for four years. Start-up company Syqe Medical Ltd from Israel is the company to get the product out there and to fulfill their main goal of transforming cannabis and other psychoactive botanicals into mainstream medical drugs.
The general benefit of the particular product lies in its ability to prescribe a controlled dosage of marijuana to patients and to measure whether the dose has been effective or not. After such a measurement, adjustments can be made. The idea is to start with one milligram, after which doctors could test the effectiveness on patients, while the patients do not get high immediately. This could be a little revolution for medical marijuana users, as the problem with today’s medical marijuana treatments has been that doctors have been unable to ‘fine tune’ their doses, so says a Wall Street Journal report:
“Despite a growing number of users in an expanding list of territories and countries, medical marijuana still struggles for mainstream acceptance in part because doctors have never been able to fine tune doses like they are used to with pharmaceutical drugs, leaving most patients to trial and error with cannabis cigarettes, vaporizers and edibles.”
There will be two inhalers to enter the market, called the Syqe Inhaler and the Suqe Inhaler Exo. The Suqe Inhaler is the inhaler for in-home use and the Exo is designed for usage in hospitals. 75 percent of the parts of both inhalers are 3D printed. The inhalers use wifi to connect them with a smart phone or tablet, and they are expected to be released in late 2014 or at the start of 2015.
Image credits: Syqe Medical Ltd.