This study reports the first case of an innovative drop-on-powder (DoP) three-dimensional (3D) printing technology to produce oral tablets (diameters of 10 mm and 13 mm) loaded with an anticancer model drug, 5-fluorouracil (FLU). For this study, a composition of the powder carrier containing CaSO4
hydrates, vinyl polymer, and carbohydrate was used as the matrix former, whereas 2-pyrrolidone with a viscosity like water was used as a binding liquid or inkjet ink. All tablets were printed using a commercial ZCorp 3D printer with modification. The resultant tablets were subject to coating with various polymeric solutions containing the drug. The composition of the polymeric solutions was adjusted at drug: polymer(s) 1:1 (w
) ratio. Either Soluplus®
(SOL) alone or in combination with polyethylene glycol (PEG) was used to develop the coating solution of 2.5% (w
) concentration. The particle size analysis, flow test, and particle morphology studies revealed mono-modal narrow size distribution, good flow properties, and porous loosely bound texture (of the tablets), respectively. Moreover, the advanced application of the fluorescence microscopy showed a homogenous distribution of the drug throughout the surface of the 3D printed tablets. The in vitro
dissolution studies showed that the tablet compositions, dimensions, and the coating solution compositions influenced the release of the drug from the tablets. It can be concluded that our innovative DoP 3D printing technology can be used to fabricate personalized dosage forms containing optimized drug content with high accuracy and shape fidelity. This is particularly suitable for those drugs that are highly unstable in thermal processing and cannot withstand the heat treatment, such as in fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printing.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited