Inkjet printing of a thermolabile model drug onto FDM-printed substrates: formulation and evaluation

Georgios K. Eleftheriadis, Christos S. Katsiotis, Dimitrios A. Andreadis, Dimitrios Tzetzis, Christos Ritzoulis, Nikolaos Bouropoulos, Dimitra Kanellopoulou, Eleftherios G. Andriotis, John Tsibouklis, Dimitrios G. Fatouros

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Objective: The inkjet printing (IP) and fused deposition modeling (FDM) technologies have emerged in the pharmaceutical field as novel and personalized formulation approaches. Specific manufacturing factors must be considered in each adopted methodology, i.e. the development of suitable substrates for IP and the incorporation of highly thermostable active pharmaceutical compounds (APIs) for FDM. In this study, IP and FDM printing technologies were investigated for the fabrication of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose-based mucoadhesive films for the buccal delivery of a thermolabile model drug.

Significance: This proof-of-concept approach was expected to provide an alternative formulation methodology for personalized mucoadhesive buccal films.

Methods: Mucoadhesive substrates were prepared by FDM and were subjected to sequential IP of an ibuprofen-loaded liquid ink. The interactions between these processes and the performance of the films were evaluated by various analytical and spectroscopic techniques, as well as by in vitro and ex vivo studies.

Results: The model drug was efficiently deposited by sequential IP passes onto the FDM-printed substrates. Significant variations were revealed on the morphological, physicochemical and mechanical properties of the prepared films, and linked to the number of IP passes. The mechanism of drug release, the mucoadhesion and the permeation of the drug through the buccal epithelium were evaluated, in view of the extent of ink deposition onto the buccal films, as well as the distribution of the API.

Conclusions: The presented methodology provided a proof-of-concept formulation approach for the development of personalized mucoadhesive films.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1253-1264
Number of pages12
JournalDrug Development and Industrial Pharmacy
Issue number8
Early online date1 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2020


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