Canadian Mom Uses 3D Printing to Sweeten a Bitter Pill

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kids-medicineThe cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown, and as a result, there are no curative treatments available to end the disease. There are, however, several drug treatments which are effective in inducing remission and delaying flare-ups, but those treatment regimens require a course of immunomodulatory drugs taken orally.

And as we all know, pills don’t always taste particularly pleasant.

That’s why one mother wanted to help ease her son’s suffering from Crohn’s Disease, and to make taking those pills considerably more tasty by inventing a ‘Pill Coater‘ and using 3D printing to build a prototype. She also plans to raise funds to put the coater into production via a Kickstarter campaign.DSC00033

Canadian mom Dalia Katzeff has lived on three continents, worked in a variety of industries, and published a book and now manages a technology company with her husband and a group of others. She’s also a mother of three, and of all her experiences, she says the hardest is dealing with “the helplessness that has been consuming my motherly heart ever since my son was diagnosed with a chronic disease.”

Katzeff says she was initially “broken” by the news that her eleven-year-old son was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. As a result, he needed to take a lot of medication, and he had a hard time swallowing that many pills without discomfort, so she began looking for ways to “sweeten the pill” for him.

In that way kids have, Katzeff says her son suggested covering the medication with chocolate. After she checked out that practice with a pharmacist and found out it would have no effect on the medications, she uses her invention to cover his daily dose of medication in chocolate a day ahead, and not surprisingly, he swallowed them like they were candies.From_Concept_to_Kickstarter_-_A_Mothers_Son_Suffering_from_Crohn_sCrohns_Disease_3D_Printing_Prototype That inspired her to invent a product that she named the “Pill Coater” to easily and safely cover the medication in chocolate at home.

Katzeff decided to use 3D printing to build a prototype of the coater, and she paid a visit to MatterThings, a 3D print shop, to make it happen.

After going through a number of design iterations and prototype prints on a MakerBot Replicator 1 & 2, the team settled on using polypropylene, as it’s food-, microwave- and dishwasher-safe.

You can check out the Pill Coater on Kickstarter here–where she hopes to raise $50,000 CAD (about $38,000 USD), and you can receive or donate a Pill Coater or two or more as a backer–and you can see more about the project on the Pill Coater Facebook page here.

What do you think of the Pill Coater? Will you be supporting the campaign on Kickstarter? Let us know in the Pill Coater forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the Kickstarter video and a closer look at the Pill Coater below:

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