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3D printing of tablets using inkjet with UV photoinitiation

Clark, Elizabeth A.; Alexander, Morgan R.; Irvine, Derek J.; Roberts, Clive J.; Wallace, Martin J.; Sharpe, Sonja; Yoo, Jae; Hague, Richard J.M.; Tuck, Chris J.; Wildman, Ricky D.

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Elizabeth A. Clark

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Professor of Biomedical Surfaces

Professor of Materials Chemistry

Martin J. Wallace

Sonja Sharpe

Jae Yoo

Professor of Additive Manufacturing

Professor of Materials Engineering

Professor of Multiphase Flow and Mechanics


Additive manufacturing (AM) offers significant potential benefits in the field of drug delivery and pharmaceutical/medical device manufacture. Of AM processes, 3D inkjet printing enables precise deposition of a formulation, whilst offering the potential for significant scale up or scale out as a manufacturing platform. This work hypothesizes that suitable solvent based ink formulations can be developed that allow the production of solid dosage forms that meet the standards required for pharmaceutical tablets, whilst offering a platform for flexible and personalised manufacture. We demonstrate this using piezo-activated inkjetting to 3D print ropinirole hydrochloride. The tablets produced consist of a cross-linked poly(ethylene glycol diacrylate) (PEGDA) hydrogel matrix containing the drug, photoinitiated in a low oxygen environment using an aqueous solution of Irgacure 2959. At a Ropinirole HCl loading of 0.41 mg, drug release from the tablet is shown to be Fickian. Raman and IR spectroscopy indicate a high degree of cross-linking and formation of an amorphous solid dispersion. This is the first publication of a UV inkjet 3D printed tablet. Consequently, this work opens the possibility for the translation of scalable, high precision and bespoke ink-jet based additive manufacturing to the pharmaceutical sector.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 28, 2017
Online Publication Date Jun 30, 2017
Publication Date Aug 30, 2017
Deposit Date Jul 27, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jul 27, 2017
Journal International Journal of Pharmaceutics
Print ISSN 0378-5173
Electronic ISSN 0378-5173
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 529
Issue 1-2
Pages 523-530
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: 3D printing of tablets using inkjet with UV photoinitiation; Journal Title: International Journal of Pharmaceutics; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version:; Content Type: article; Copyright: © 2017 Published by Elsevier B.V.


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