The History, Developments and Opportunities of Stereolithography

  • Pamela Robles MartinezEmail author
  • Abdul W. Basit
  • Simon Gaisford
Part of the AAPS Advances in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Series book series (AAPS, volume 31)


Stereolithography (SLA) is an additive manufacturing technique that uses light as the source of energy. SLA 3D printing (3DP) was the first rapid prototyping method developed and perhaps the most popular due to its superior resolution and accuracy. Due to its versatility, SLA has been widely studied for its use in tissue engineering or in dentistry. In the pharmacoprinting field, SLA offers a great potential for fabricating complex drug delivery systems as well as approaching the need to manufacture personalised medicine. Despite this, research in the use of SLA 3DP in the pharmaceutical area is still limited. This chapter presents an overview of the fundamental science behind the photopolymerisation process and the SLA 3DP technologies available. A variety of its biomedical uses are presented. The multiple potential pharmaceutical applications and recent advances are reviewed, along with the advantages and limitations of this rapid prototyping technique for the manufacture of modern medicines.


Three-dimensional printing Medical devices Bioprinting Personalized medications Pharmacoprinting Drug delivery systems 


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Copyright information

© American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pamela Robles Martinez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Abdul W. Basit
    • 1
    • 2
  • Simon Gaisford
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutics, UCL School of PharmacyUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.FabRx Ltd.Ashford, KentUK

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