Rising to the challenge: applying biofabrication approaches for better drug and chemical product development

Anthony M Holmes, Alex Charlton, Brian Derby, Lorna Ewart, Andrew Scott, Wenmiao Shu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


Many industrial sectors, from pharmaceuticals to consumer products, are required to provide data on their products to demonstrate their efficacy and that they are safe for patients, consumers and the environment. This period of testing typically requires the use of animal models, the validity of which has been called into question due to the high rates of attrition across many industries. There is increasing recognition of the limitations of animal models and demands for safety and efficacy testing paradigms which embrace the latest technological advances and knowledge of human biology. This perspective article highlights the potential for biofabrication approaches (encompassing bioprinting and bioassembly strategies) to meet these needs and provides case studies from three different industry sectors to demonstrate the potential for new markets in the bioprinting community. We also present a series of recommendations to create a thriving bioprinting environment. One that operates at the forefront of science, technology and innovation to deliver improved decision-making tools for the more rapid development of medicines, agrichemicals, chemicals and consumer products, and which may reduce our reliance on animals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number033001
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2017


  • biofabrication
  • animal research
  • 3Rs
  • drug development
  • chemicals
  • efficacy testing
  • toxicity testing


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