3D Printed Polyvinyl Alcohol Tablets with Multiple Release Profiles


The aim of this study was to explore the feasibility of using different 3D printed internal geometries as tablet formulations to obtain controlled release profiles. In order to obtain controllable release profiles, three types of tablet models (Cylinder, Horn and Reversed Horn) with controlled structures were designed. The cylinder model shows a constant release profile and can keep the drug concentration within a certain range. The horn model exhibits an increasing release profile, which is suitable for the patients who have the drug resistance in the course of medication. The reversed horn model has a decreasing release profile that would be applied to hypertension cure. Furthermore, three types of tablets were fabricated successfully by a fused deposition modeling three-dimensional (3D) printer and injected with paracetamol (APAP) -containing gels. The results of in vitro drug release demonstrate that tablets with three kinds of structures can produce constant, gradually increasing, and gradually decreasing release profiles, respectively. The release attributes can be controlled by using different 3D printed geometries as tablet formulations. More importantly, there are no residues after dissolution. The method of preparing customized tablets with distinguished release profiles presented in this study has the promising potential in the fabrication of patient-tailored medicines.


We proposed a new method to fabricate customized tablets with distinguished release profiles using 3D printing technology and filling them with drug-containing gel at room temperature, which provides a new way for tailored drugs with simple fabrication process. We designed different 3D printed geometries as tablet formulations for the controlled drug release and explored the effect of inner architecture of scaffolds to obtain constant, gradually increasing or gradually decreasing release rate. The drug release rate depends on internal architectures of tablets. Tablets produced in this work could be dissolved evenly and there was no residue after dissolution. The manufacturing process did not degrade the active ingredients of drugs because drug-containing gels injected into the cavity at room temperature don’t need to be heated high temperature of over 200 °C, which could be applied to other thermolabile tablets. In addition, the simple fabrication process for customized tablets by 3D printing technologies and easily available materials also make this general method suitable for popularization on large scale, which plays an important role in the personalized medicine.

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