Medicine technology is a constantly evolving industry. Every day there are new technologies and developments that are changing the way that medicine is administered. The only thing that has not changed is mass development. Currently, medicine is mass produced, instead of tailored to what each individual patient needs. For example, a lot of people get the flu every winter. But not everyone may have the same flu symptoms or the same severity of the flu. Researchers and doctors are trying to change this.
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen and Abo Akademi University in Finland have made a major breakthrough in producing medicine tailored to each patient. They have created an edible material with a printed QR code made out of a drug that is created specifically for each patient.
The key to individual medicine is the shape of the QR code. The QR code allows data to be stored inside of the edible paper.
"Simply doing a quick scan, you can get all the information about the pharmaceutical product. In that sense it can potentially reduce cases of wrong medication and fake medicine," says Natalja Genina.
The researchers want this medicine coding to be as accessible as possible. They hope that the medicine can one day be printed on a regular printer. The edible paper will have to be produced with a special printer before the QR code is printed. This will allow for individualized, on-demand drug production for patients.
"If we are successful with applying this production method to relatively simple printers, then it can enable the innovative production of personalized medicine and rethinking of the whole supply chain," says professor Jukka Rantanen from the Department of Pharmacy.
The paper on this research was published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics.