Embedded three-dimensional printing (e-3DP) is an emerging method for additive manufacturing where semi-solid materials are extruded within a solidifying liquid matrix. Here, we present the first example of employing e-3DP in the pharmaceutical field and demonstrate the fabrication of bespoke chewable dosage forms with dual drug loading for potential use in pediatrics. LegoTM
-like chewable bricks made of edible soft material (gelatin-based matrix) were produced by directly extruding novel printing patterns of model drug ink (embedded phase) into a liquid gelatin-based matrix (embedding phase) at an elevated temperature (70 °C) to then solidify at room temperature. Dose titration of the two model drugs (paracetamol and ibuprofen) was possible by using specially designed printing patterns of the embedded phase to produce varying doses. A linearity [R2
= 0.9804 (paracetamol) and 0.9976 (ibuprofen)] was achieved between percentage of completion of printing patterns and achieved doses using a multi-step method. The impact of embedded phase rheological behavior, the printing speed and the needle size of the embedded phase were examined. Owning to their appearance, modular nature, ease of personalizing dose and geometry, and tailoring and potential inclusion of various materials, this new dosage form concept holds a substantial promise for novel dosage forms in pediatrics.
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