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Centre for Additive Manufacturing for Life Science and Pharmaceutical Industry (AMBioPharma)

Centre for Additive Manufacturing for Life Science and Pharmaceutical Industry (AMBioPharma)



Project coordinator

Turku University of Applied Sciences

Project partners

  • Åbo Universitet
  • Åbo Akademi
  • Bayer Oy
  • Brinter Oy
  • PreClinApps Oy
  • Stick Tech Oy
  • LM Instruments Oy
  • Abacus Diagnostica Oy
  • Inme Oy
  • Funded by

  • Europeiska regionala utvecklingsfonden (EAKR)
  • Budget

    754 718 euros

    Åbo Akademi University’s part of the budget

    180 128 euros (24%)

    European Regional Development Fund - logotype

    Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology have been identified as priority for smart specialization in Southwest Finland. Its aim is to create the conditions for new innovations and their commercialization through seamless cooperation between research institutes and companies in the field.

    The needs identified in the preparation of the Centre for Additive Manufacturing for Life Science and Pharmaceutical Industry (AMBioPharma) project correspond to increasing the potential of precisely these sectors. The project builds on the short-term development needs of companies in the sector and offers opportunities for innovation and business through the development of additive manufacturing, or namely 3D printing.

    3D printing on the rise in the development of bio- and medical applications

    3D printing is rapidly gaining ground in the development of bio- and medical applications. There is a need for companies in the sector to develop skills, materials and equipment. In particular, there is a clear need for companies in the Southwest Finland region to improve and facilitate production and to develop new products.

    Main objectives of the AMBioPharma project:

    1. The project will improve and accelerate the product development of new pharmaceutical products, dental prostheses, medical instruments, and in vitro diagnostic test systems through 3D printing.
    2. Increasing the importance of additive manufacturing/3D printing as part of new product development in the bio- and pharmaceutical industry in Southwest Finland and increasing the innovation capacity and short-term turnover of companies.
    3. Increasing the use of additive manufacturing/3D printing in companies’ RDI activities and as production equipment.
    4. The use of materials will diversify and lead to the development of new products.
    5. Cooperation between companies developing and manufacturing 3D printing equipment and components and between different sectors of the bio- and pharmaceutical industry will increase, and the level of knowledge in 3D printing will rise.

    The project will be implemented in cooperation between the participating organizations through five actions:

    1. Development of drug delivery products
    2. 3D printing of loose dental prostheses and optimization and design of reinforcement and manufacturing
    3. Development of in vitro diagnostic test cassettes and test cassette manufacturing by 3D printing
    4. Predictive study on the regulatory aspects of 3D printing in the bio- and pharmaceutical industry
    5. Feedback and planning sessions with companies.

    Solutions for the development of personalized drug delivery systems (DDSs)

    Within the collaboration of the AMBioPharma project, ÅAU’s joint research activities have a specific focus on creating personalized DDSs by additive manufacturing. Our aim is to incorporate nanoparticles as protective carriers for fragile biomolecules into biomaterial ink systems and fabricate personalised DDSs by semi-solid extrusion 3D printing (a.k.a. bioprinting).

    In the material development, it is also important to highlight that ÅAU’s biomaterial ink system exploits tailored cellulosic materials and photo-reactive biopolymers; both originating from Finnish forestry bio-refinery processes.

    ÅAU’s research activities focus on understanding the physicochemical interactions between nanoparticles and polymeric matrix in the printable hydrogel. We thus concentrate on optimizing the printability of these multicomponent ink systems for producing DDSs. These 3D-printed DDSs incorporate nanoparticles carrying bioactive compounds (e.g. drugs, biomolecules) that provide customized drug delivery.

    Additive manufacturing in pharmaceutical industry has the potential to improve and optimize the development and manufacturing of personalized DDSs. Personalized DDSs improve the safety of drug treatment by decreasing the risk of overdosing and adverse reactions.  3D printing offers extensive possibilities for increased complexity and personalization of DDSs, as well as the production in small batches, the reduction of costs, materials consumption and waste. The broad capability of additive manufacturing could also be its downfall if application specific attributes are not recognized and defined in the early development phase.

    The objective of ÅAU’s research in the AMBioPharma project is to provide a starting platform for pharmaceutical companies in Southwest Finland to develop personalized DDSs. The platform would provide knowledge on the critical printability attributes of the biomaterial ink systems, the functionalization limits of the printing ink formulations, and the biofunctionality of printed DDSs.

    The future of additive manufacturing in pharmaceutical industry is bright. The results of the project will contribute to the growth of companies’ RDI activities in 3D printing and, in the longer term, to the development of new products and services for healthcare, increased turnover and more jobs.

    Useful links:

    Åbo Akademi University’s Functional Printing Center

    Video of Pharmaceutical Printing at Åbo Akademi University

    Nanoparticle engineering and 3DP delivery for game-changing oral therapeutics

    Turku University of Applied Sciences AMBioPharma -project page


    Contact us

    Jessica Rosenholm



    Faculty of Science and Engineering

    Chunlin Xu


    Laboratory of Natural Materials Technology

    Faculty of Science and Engineering