Controlling drug release with additive manufacturing-based solutions

Shriya K. Patel, Mouhamad Khoder, Matthew Peak, Mohamed A. Alhnan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


3D printing is an innovative manufacturing technology with great potential to revolutionise solid dosage forms. Novel features of 3D printing technology confer advantage over conventional solid dosage form manufacturing technologies, including rapid prototyping and an unparalleled capability to fabricate complex geometries with spatially separated conformations. Such a novel technology could transform the pharmaceutical industry, enabling the production of highly personalised dosage forms with well-defined release profiles. In this work, we review the current state of the art of using additive manufacturing for predicting and understanding drug release from 3D printed novel structures. Furthermore, we describe a wide spectrum of 3D printing technologies, materials, procedure, and processing parameters used to fabricate fundamentally different matrices with different drug releases. The different methods to manipulate drug release patterns including the surface area-to-mass ratio, infill pattern, geometry, and composition, are critically evaluated. Moreover, the drug release mechanisms and models that could aid exploiting the release profile are also covered. Finally, this review also covers the design opportunities alongside the technical and regulatory challenges that these rapidly evolving technologies present.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-386
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Enteric
  • FDM
  • FFF
  • Immediate
  • Matrix
  • Powder
  • Semi-solid extrusion
  • SLA
  • SLS
  • Surface-to-mass ratio


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