Hall S, Grant G, Arora D, Karaksha A, McFarland A, Lohning A, Anoopkumar-Dukie S. A pilot study assessing the value of 3D printed molecular modelling tools for pharmacy student education. Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning. 2017,9(4):723-728


Medicinal chemistry and pharmacology are difficult topics to both teach and learn given the complex nature of drug mechanisms and drug-receptor interactions. This highlights the need for innovative teaching methods to deliver this information to students. One such method is through three-dimensional (3D) printing of enzymes and ligands in the teaching of molecular modelling concepts relating to drug-receptor and enzyme interactions be ligands. This type of printing has been shown to be beneficial in several educational settings; however, to our knowledge, its effectiveness in pharmacy, medicinal chemistry and pharmacology learning and teaching is largely unknown. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate pharmacy student perceptions and the educational benefits of 3D printed molecules in molecular modelling with regards to engagement and learning outcomes when used in a drug-target interaction topic. This aim was achieved through administering students a short questionnaire designed to evaluate their engagement and learning outcomes with students also free to provide comments. This study found that nearly all (>90%) students found the activity was useful in improving both student engagement and learning outcomes. In conclusion, 3D printing may provide an alternative learning activity to help pharmacy students understand the drug-target interaction.

Author's keywords: education, 3D printing, medicinal, chemistry, molecular modelling, pharmacology, pharmacy

Link to journal: https://www.journals.elsevier.com/currents-in-pharmacy-teaching-and-learning