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Open AccessArticle

3D Printing of a Multi-Layered Polypill Containing Six Drugs Using a Novel Stereolithographic Method

1
Department of Pharmaceutics, UCL School of Pharmacy, University College London, 29–39 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AX, UK
2
FabRx Ltd., 3 Romney Road, Ashford TN24 0RW, UK
3
Departamento de Farmacología, Farmacia y Tecnología Farmacéutica, R + D Pharma Group (GI-1645), Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, 15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
4
School of Chemistry and Forensic Sciences, University of Bradford, Richmond Road, Bradford BD7 1DP, UK
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(6), 274; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11060274
Received: 7 May 2019 / Revised: 2 June 2019 / Accepted: 3 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printing of Pharmaceuticals and Drug Delivery Devices)
Three-dimensional printing (3DP) has demonstrated great potential for multi-material fabrication because of its capability for printing bespoke and spatially separated material conformations. Such a concept could revolutionise the pharmaceutical industry, enabling the production of personalised, multi-layered drug products on demand. Here, we developed a novel stereolithographic (SLA) 3D printing method that, for the first time, can be used to fabricate multi-layer constructs (polypills) with variable drug content and/or shape. Using this technique, six drugs, including paracetamol, caffeine, naproxen, chloramphenicol, prednisolone and aspirin, were printed with different geometries and material compositions. Drug distribution was visualised using Raman microscopy, which showed that whilst separate layers were successfully printed, several of the drugs diffused across the layers depending on their amorphous or crystalline phase. The printed constructs demonstrated excellent physical properties and the different material inclusions enabled distinct drug release profiles of the six actives within dissolution tests. For the first time, this paper demonstrates the feasibility of SLA printing as an innovative platform for multi-drug therapy production, facilitating a new era of personalised polypills. View Full-Text
Keywords: three-dimensional printing; fixed-dose combinations; additive manufacturing; 3D printed drug products; printlets; tablets; personalized medicines; multiple-layer dosage forms; stereolithography; vat polymerisation three-dimensional printing; fixed-dose combinations; additive manufacturing; 3D printed drug products; printlets; tablets; personalized medicines; multiple-layer dosage forms; stereolithography; vat polymerisation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Robles-Martinez, P.; Xu, X.; Trenfield, S.J.; Awad, A.; Goyanes, A.; Telford, R.; Basit, A.W.; Gaisford, S. 3D Printing of a Multi-Layered Polypill Containing Six Drugs Using a Novel Stereolithographic Method. Pharmaceutics 2019, 11, 274.

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