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Pharmaceutical Engineering and 3D Printing Labs Receive Funding to Develop IUD Alternatives

  • Jun 30, 2022

Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin’s Pharmaceutical Engineering and 3D Printing Labs (PharmE3D) have received a federal grant to create custom additive-manufactured birth control devices.

Using a 3D printing technology developed in-house, the PharmE3D team of international researchers are honing a means of producing personalized alternatives to commercial intrauterine devices (IUDs), which are intrusive and sometimes painful female contraceptives.

The research is being carried out alongside the Contraception Research and Development (CONRAD) organization, which works to improve the reproductive health of women around the world and especially in developing countries. Since its establishment by USAID and Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) in 1986, CONRAD has become a pioneer in the research and development of low-cost, safe and noninvasive HIV prevention methods as well as contraceptives. 

“This USAID grant has the potential to make a significant impact on women’s reproductive health in the developing world,” said Dr. Mohammed Maniruzzaman, assistant professor at the university’s Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery. “Our collaboration with CONRAD and EVMS has been fruitful at the further development of 3D printing technologies to tackle global health issues and health care access.”

Funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) allows the team at UT Austin to further develop these alternatives and roll them out on a wider scale, increasing global access to long-term and effective contraception while minimizing some of the device’s most debilitating side effects.

Read more about this research and development in 3D Printing Industry News.