3D Printed Medicine and the Year Ahead

3D Printed Medicine and the Year Ahead

I am fascinated by something going on in Mason, Ohio. The Arington family and Prasco Laboratories is in the early stages of printing medicine. Their son, Ryan, is our shortstop at Trevecca. I went to a speech class recently and heard his presentation on 3D printed medicine. It’s cliché to say this is the neatest thing since sliced bread, but it really is.

Listening to Phil Arington talk about the process and potential outcomes, I found myself seeing higher education, cutting-edge technology, and Christian faith merging. Let me explain.

Think about how you print on paper. The paper runs through the printer, and ink adheres to the paper. Now, imagine the ink is fine powder medicine, and a mist of water causes the powder to cohere. Multiple passes gives you the solidity you need for a thin sheet of medicine. I placed a placebo on my tongue in the Mason Prasco Plant. It disappeared immediately, dissolving on my tongue.

So, how and why is this Christian? Let’s start close to home.

Think about people who have Parkinson’s or other diseases that make swallowing pills difficult. With 3D printed medicine, they will soon be able to place a small strip on their tongue, and it will dissolve, giving them the medication they need. There would be no more choking down a pill the size of a horse! Our neighbors will be grateful to Prasco.

Now think a little further from home. With the advent of this technology, third world medicines will be produced quicker, shipped easier, and consumed safer than ever before. Contaminated water won’t be an issue for getting medicine into the body, and infants will be treated by life-saving drugs that simply melt in their mouths. Medical mobility will be lighter, and fraud will be more easily detected.

How and why is this Christian?

The people of God in the business of health have been taking it on the chin for their profit-above-service reputation over the past few decades. Here is a family business that is plotting to serve people in need through technology and creativity. They very quickly give all glory to God for the opportunity to do this work.

People like the Aringtons make the gospel believable. Let’s join them in this new year by the way we do our work.


  1. Fascinating! Incredibly useful.

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