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Adaptation of pharmaceutical excipients to FDM 3D printing for the fabrication of patient-tailored immediate release tablets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Muzna Sadia, Agata Sośnicka, Basel Arafat, Abdullah Isreb, Waqar Ahmed, Antonios Kelarakis, Mohamed A Alhnan

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-668
Number of pages10
Issue number1-2
Early online date15 Sep 2016
Accepted/In press14 Sep 2016
E-pub ahead of print15 Sep 2016
Published20 Nov 2016



King's Authors


This work aims to employ fused deposition modelling 3D printing to fabricate immediate release pharmaceutical tablets with several model drugs. It investigates the addition of non-melting filler to methacrylic matrix to facilitate FDM 3D printing and explore the impact of (i) the nature of filler, (ii) compatibility with the gears of the 3D printer and iii) polymer: filler ratio on the 3D printing process. Amongst the investigated fillers in this work, directly compressible lactose, spray-dried lactose and microcrystalline cellulose showed a level of degradation at 135°C whilst talc and TCP allowed consistent flow of the filament and a successful 3D printing of the tablet. A specially developed universal filament based on pharmaceutically approved methacrylic polymer (Eudragit EPO) and thermally stable filler, TCP (tribasic calcium phosphate) was optimised. Four model drugs with different physicochemical properties were included into ready-to-use mechanically stable tablets with immediate release properties. Following the two thermal processes (hot melt extrusion (HME) and fused deposition modelling (FDM) 3D printing), drug contents were 94.22%, 88.53%, 96.51% and 93.04% for 5-ASA, captopril, theophylline and prednisolone respectively. XRPD indicated that a fraction of 5-ASA, theophylline and prednisolone remained crystalline whilst captopril was in amorphous form. By combining the advantages of thermally stable pharmaceutically approved polymers and fillers, this unique approach provides a low cost production method for on demand manufacturing of individualised dosage forms.

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