Fabrication of extended-release patient-tailored prednisolone tablets via fused deposition modelling (FDM) 3D printing

Skowyra, Justyna, Pietrzak, Katarzyna and Albed Alhnan, Mohamed (2014) Fabrication of extended-release patient-tailored prednisolone tablets via fused deposition modelling (FDM) 3D printing. European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 68 . pp. 11-17. ISSN 0928-0987

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejps.2014.11.009


Rapid and reliable tailoring of the dose of controlled release tablets to suit an individual patient is a major challenge for personalized medicine. The aim of this work was to investigate the feasibility of using a fused deposition modelling (FDM) based 3D printer to fabricate extended release tablet using prednisolone loaded poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) filaments and to control its dose. Prednisolone was loaded into a PVA-based (1.75 mm) filament at approximately 1.9% w/w via incubation in a saturated methanolic solution of prednisolone. The physical form of the drug was assessed using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD). Dose accuracy and in vitro drug release patterns were assessed using HPLC and pH change flow-through dissolution test.

Prednisolone loaded PVA filament demonstrated an ability to be fabricated into regular ellipse-shaped solid tablets using the FDM-based 3D printer. It was possible to control the mass of printed tablet through manipulating the volume of the design (R2 = 0.9983). On printing tablets with target drug contents of 2, 3, 4, 5, 7.5 and 10 mg, a good correlation between target and achieved dose was obtained (R2 = 0.9904) with a dose accuracy range of 88.7–107%. Thermal analysis and XRPD indicated that the majority of prednisolone existed in amorphous form within the tablets. In vitro drug release from 3D printed tablets was extended up to 24 h.

FDM based 3D printing is a promising method to produce and control the dose of extended release tablets, providing a highly adjustable, affordable, minimally sized, digitally controlled platform for producing patient-tailored medicines.

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