Project

3D Printing & Bioprinting in Pharmaceutical and Medical Applications

Goal: Manufacturing of drug delivery systems, medical devices, and implants using innovative 3D printing & bioprinting technologies; including in-house preparation of filaments by hot-melt extrusion (HME). Research led by the Lamprou Lab.

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Dimitrios A Lamprou
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Introduction: Sustainability within the pharmaceutical industry is becoming a focal point for many companies, to improve the longevity and social perception of the industry. Both additive manufacturing (AM) and microfluidics (MFs) are continuously progressing, so are far from their optimisation in terms of sustainability; hence it's the aim of this review to highlight potential gaps alongside their beneficial features. Discussed throughout this review also will be an in-depth discussion on the environmental, legal, economic, and social particulars relating to these emerging technologies. Areas covered: Additive manufacturing (AM) and microfluidics (MFs) are discussed in depth within this review, drawing from up-to-date literature relating to sustainability and circular economies. This applies to both technologies being utilised for therapeutic and analytical purposes within the pharmaceutical industry. Expert opinion: It is the role of emerging technologies to be at the forefront of promoting a sustainable message by delivering plausible environmental standards whilst maintaining efficacy and economic viability. AM processes are highly customisable, allowing for their optimisation in terms of sustainability, from reducing printing time to reducing material usage by removing supports. MFs too is supporting sustainability via reduced material wastage and providing a sustainable means for point of care analysis.
Dimitrios A Lamprou
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In the recent years, we have encountered significant advances in the manufacturing processes of medicinal products and medical devices, particularly after the recent pandemic and the turmoil in the supply chain. Trends in these technological advances in the diagnosis of diseases and therapeutic treatments heavily relied on new technologies that can transform personalised health care into commercialisation.
Dimitrios A Lamprou
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“Microneedle drug delivery is a promising approach for transdermal drug delivery (TDD), due to its potential to deliver drug through the skin without causing pain." https://www.ondrugdelivery.com/3d-printed-hollow-microneedles-a-new-frontier-for-transdermal-drug-delivery/
Dimitrios A Lamprou
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The current study is a preliminary investigation on the use of stereolithography 3D printing technology in the field of personalized medicines and specifically for delivering drugs locally, which can for example usefully be applied to ear infections. The main aim is the development of drug-loaded implants for the treatment of ear diseases, to improve patient compliance and to overcome the limitations of current delivery approaches. Multiple prototypes of implant geometries have been created and printed using a flexible resin containing 0.5% w/v of Levofloxacin. Physicochemical characterization of the printed implants was carried out using a variety of techniques (e.g., microscopic, spectroscopic, and mechanical analysis). Finally, preliminary in vitro tests were performed to evaluate the release profile of Levofloxacin, the prototype implant's stability, and their antimicrobial property. The results obtained show that there is no interaction between the resin and the drug, which is perfectly solubilized in the device. In addition, the results of the mechanical tests show that the material used resists compression without compromising the design itself, and the diffusion test has shown that the drug diffused through the matrix prototype at 50% over 3 weeks. The selected designs showed higher antimicrobial activity on E.coli than on S.aureus.
Dimitrios A Lamprou
added a research item
The treatment strategy required for the effective healing of diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) is a complex process that is requiring several combined therapeutic approaches. As a result, there is a significant clinical and economic burden associated in treating DFU. Furthermore, these treatments are often unsuccessful, commonly resulting in lower-limb amputation. The use of drug-loaded scaffolds to treat DFU has previously been investigated using electrospinning and fused deposition modelling (FDM) 3D printing techniques; however, the rapidly evolving field of bioprinting is creating new opportunities for innovation within this research area. In this study, 3D-bioprinted scaffolds with different designs have been fabricated for the delivery of an antibiotic (levoflocixin) to DFU. The scaffolds were fully characterised by a variety of techniques (e.g. SEM, DSC/TGA, FTIR, and mechanical characterisation), demonstrating excellent mechanical properties and providing sustained drug release for 4 weeks. This proof of concept study demonstrates the innovative potential of bioprinting technologies in fabrication of antibiotic scaffolds for the treatment of DFU. Graphical abstract
Dimitrios A Lamprou
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3D printing is an emerging technology aiming towards personalized drug delivery, among many other applications. Microneedles (MN) are a viable method for transdermal drug delivery that is becoming more popular for delivery through the skin. However, there is a need for a faster fabrication process with potential for easily exploring different geometries of MNs. In the current study, a digital light processing (DLP) method of 3D printing for fabrication of hollow MN arrays using commercial UV curable resin was proposed. Print quality was optimised by assessing the effect of print angle on needle geometries. Mechanical testing of MN arrays was conducted using a texture analyser. Angled prints were found to produce prints with geometries closer to the CAD designs. Curing times were found to affect the mechanical strength of MNs, with arrays not breaking when subjected to 300 N of force but were bent. Overall, DLP process produced hollow MNs with good mechanical strength and depicts a viable, quick, and efficient method for the fabrication of hollow MN arrays.
Dimitrios A Lamprou
added a research item
Current surgical strategies for the treatment of pelvic floor dysfunctions involve the placement of a polypropylene mesh into the pelvic cavity. However, polypropylene meshes have proven to have inadequate mechanical properties and have been associated to the arising of severe complications, such as infections. Furthermore, currently employed manufacturing strategies are unable to produce compliant and customisable devices. In this work, polycaprolactone has been used to produce resorbable levofloxacin-loaded meshes in two different designs (90° and 45°) via melt-extrusion 3D printing. Drug-loaded meshes were produced using a levofloxacin concentration of 0.5% w/w. Drug loaded meshes were successfully produced with highly reproducible mechanical and physico-chemical properties. Tensile test results showed that drug-loaded 45° meshes possessed a mechanical behaviour close to that of the vaginal tissue (E ≃ 8.32 ± 1.85 MPa), even after 4 weeks of accelerated degradation. Meshes released 80% of the loaded levofloxacin in the first 3 days and were capable of producing an inhibitory effect against S. Aureus and E. coli bacterial strains with an inhibition zone equal to 12.8 ± 0.45 mm and 15.8 ± 0.45 mm respectively. Thus, the strategy adopted in this work holds great promise for the manufacturing of custom-made surgical meshes with antibacterial properties.
Dimitrios A Lamprou
added a research item
Objectives: There is a requirement within ear therapeutics for a delivery system capable of safely delivering controlled doses to the inner ear. However, the anatomy and sensitivity of the inner ear make current delivery systems problematic and often ineffective. Therefore, a new delivery system is required to overcome these issues and provide a more efficacious system in the treatment of inner ear disease. This study assesses the potential of 3D printing (3DP) as a fabrication method for an implantable drug delivery system (DDS) to the inner ear. Key findings: Three implantable designs of varying geometry were produced with fused deposition modelling (FDM) 3DP, each loaded with 0.25%, 0.5% and 1% levofloxacin; filaments prepared by hot-melt extrusion. Each implant was effective in providing sustained, therapeutic release of levofloxacin for at least 4 days and as such would be effective in therapeutic treatment of many common inner ear diseases, such as otitis media or Ménière’s disease. Conclusions: This proof-of-concept research was successful in utilising FDM as a fabrication method for a DDS capable of providing prolonged release directly to the inner ear and highlights the viability of 3DP in the fabrication of an inner ear DDS.
Dimitrios A Lamprou
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3D printing has provided a new prospective in the manufacturing of personalized medical implants, including fistulas for haemodialysis (HD). In the current study, an optimized fused modelling deposition (FDM) 3D printing method has been validated, for the first time, to obtain cylindrical shaped fistulas. Printing parameters were evaluated for the manufacturing of fistulas using blank and 0.25% curcumin-loaded filaments that were produced by hot melt extrusion (HME). Four different fistula types have been designed and characterized using a variety of physicochemical characterization methods. Each design was printed three times to demonstrate printing process accuracy considering outer and inner diameter, wall thickness, width, and length. A thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) biocompatible elastomer was chosen, showing good mechanical properties with a high elastic modulus and maximum elongation, as well as stability at high temperatures with less than 0.8% of degradation at the range between 25 and 250 °C. Curcumin release profile has been evaluated in a saline buffer, obtaining a low release (12%) and demonstrating drug could continue release for a longer period, and for as long as grafts should remain in patient body. Possibility to produce drug-loaded grafts using one-step method as well as 3D printing process and TPU filaments containing curcumin printability has been demonstrated. Graphical abstract
Dimitrios A Lamprou
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Objectives The traditional manufacturing methods of solid oral dosage forms (SODFs) are reported to be time-consuming, highly expensive and not tailored to the patient’s needs. Three-dimensional printing (3DP) is an innovative emerging technology that can help to overcome these issues. The aim of this review is to describe the most employed 3DP technologies, materials and the state of the art on 3DP SODFs. Characterization techniques of 3DP SODFs, challenges and regulatory issues are also discussed. Key findings The interest in the investigation of the suitability of 3DP as an alternative strategy for the fabrication of SODFs is growing. Different 3DP technologies and starting materials have been investigated for the development of SODFs. Numerous SODFs with complex geometries and composition, and with different release patterns, have been successfully manufactured via 3DP. Despite that, just one 3DP SODF has reached the market. Summary 3DP can be a promising alternative to the classical SODFs manufacturing methods. However, numerous technically and regulatory challenges still need to be addressed in order 3DP to be extensively used in the pharmaceutical sector.
Dimitrios A Lamprou
added a research item
Microfluidic technique has emerged as a promising tool for the production of stable and monodispersed nanoparticles (NPs). In particular, this work focuses on liposome production by microfluidics and on factors involved in determining liposome characteristics. Traditional fabrication techniques for microfluidic devices suffer from several disadvantages, such as multistep processing and expensive facilities. Three-dimensional printing (3DP) has been revolutionary for microfluidic device production, boasting facile and low-cost fabrication. In this study, microfluidic devices with innovative micromixing patterns were developed using fused deposition modelling (FDM) and liquid crystal display (LCD) printers. To date, this work is the first to study liposome production using LCD-printed microfluidic devices. The current study deals with 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC) liposomes with cholesterol (2:1) prepared using commercial and 3D-printed microfluidic devices. We evaluated the effect of microfluidic parameters, chip manufacturing, material, and channel design on liposomal formulation by analysing the size, PDI, and ζ-potential. Curcumin exhibits potent anticancer activity and it has been reported that curcumin-loaded liposomes formulated by microfluidics show enhanced encapsulation efficiency when compared with other reported systems. In this work, curcumal liposomes were produced using the developed microfluidic devices and particle sizing, ζ-potential, encapsulation efficiency, and in vitro release studies were performed at 37 °C.
Dimitrios A Lamprou
added a research item
Diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) is a serious complication of diabetes mellitus, affecting roughly 25% of diabetic patients and resulting in lower limb amputation in over 70% of known cases. In addition to the devastating physiological consequences of DFU and its impact on patient quality of life, DFU has significant clinical and economic implications. Various traditional therapies are implemented to effectively treat DFU. However, emerging technologies such as bioprinting and electrospinning, present an exciting opportunity to improve current treatment strategies through the development of 3D scaffolds, by overcoming the limitations of current wound healing strategies. This review provides a summary on (i) current prevention and treatment strategies available for DFU; (ii) methods of fabrication of 3D scaffolds relevant for this condition; (iii) suitable materials and commonly used molecules for the treatment of DFU; and (iv) future directions offered by emerging technologies.
Dimitrios A Lamprou
added an update
Special Issue on “3D printing in Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences” in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology (JPP). The JPP is an official journal of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, and one of the leading pharmaceutical sciences journals. The special issue call can be found at https://academic.oup.com/jpp/pages/call-for-papers. Guest Editors: Dimitrios Lamprou, David Jones, Dennis Douroumis, Gavin Andrews
 
Dimitrios A Lamprou
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The uncharted nature of the Covid-19 pandemic has caused uncertainty globally, resulting in many healthcare professionals and key-workers being left with supply shortages in medical consumables and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), exacerbated by supply line issues and in some cases, delays resulting from governmental policies. 3D printing (3DP) has played an important role in providing essential items to hospitals and the wider communities, such as visors, facemasks and ventilator components. This short-review manuscript covers the potential of antimicrobial materials in the manufacturing of 3DP essential products, as an approach for added protection against pandemics.
Dimitrios A Lamprou
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Cardiovascular diseases constitute a number of conditions which are the leading cause of death globally. To combat these diseases and improve the quality and duration of life, several cardiac implants have been developed, including stents, vascular grafts and valvular prostheses. The implantation of these vascular prosthesis has associated risks such as infection or blood clot formation. In order to overcome these limitations medicated vascular prosthesis have been previously used. The present paper describes a 3D printing method to develop medicated vascular prosthesis using fused deposition modelling (FDM) technology. For this purpose, rifampicin (RIF) was selected as a model molecule as it can be used to prevent vascular graft prosthesis infection. Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and RIF were combined using hot melt extrusion (HME) to obtain filaments containing RIF concentrations ranging between 0 and 1% (w/w). These materials are capable of providing RIF release for periods ranging between 30 and 80 days. Moreover, TPUbased materials containing RIF were capable of inhibiting the growth of Staphylococcus aureus. This behaviour was observed even for TPU-based materials containing RIF concentrations of 0.1% (w/w). TPU containing 1% (w/w) of RIF showed antimicrobial properties even after 30 days of RIF release. Alternatively, these methods were used to prepare dipyridamole containing TPU filaments. Finally, using a dual extrusion 3D printer vascular grafts containing both drugs were prepared.
Dimitrios A Lamprou
added a research item
Current treatment for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI) involves transvaginal implantation of surgical mesh, conventionally made of polypropylene (PP). However, it has recently become apparent that the mechanical properties of PP are unsuitable, resulting in serious complications such as tissue erosion. In this study, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) was chosen as an alternative material, and hormone-loaded meshes were produced by fused deposition modelling (FDM). Filaments containing various concentrations (0%, 0.25%, 1%) of 17-β-estradiol (E2) were prepared by hot-melt extrusion (HME) and were 3D printed into meshes with various geometries. The resulting meshes were characterised through a variety of instruments such as attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), thermal analysis, fracture force and in vitro release studies. The results showed that E2 was homogeneously distributed throughout the TPU matrix. Moreover, the thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) showed degradation temperatures above those used during the FDM process, showing that the meshes can be produced below the degradation temperatures of the materials. The fracture force testing showed that material and mesh geometry influence mechanical properties, with TPU meshes appearing more elastic and therefore more suitable for pelvic floor repair than PP mesh. However, interestingly the mechanical properties of the TPU70 filament was not affected by the inclusion of E2. In addition, the 3D printed meshes showed a linear E2 release profile over a two weeks period, which can be modified according to the percentage of E2 added to the 3D printed construct. This proof of concept study demonstrates the potential of using FDM to create a new generation of safer mesh implants.
Dimitrios A Lamprou
added a research item
Surgical meshes have been employed in the management of a variety of pathological conditions including hernia, pelvic floor dysfunctions, periodontal guided bone regeneration, wound healing and more recently for breast plastic surgery after mastectomy. These common pathologies affect a wide portion of the worldwide population; therefore, an effective and enhanced treatment is crucial to ameliorate patients’ living conditions both from medical and aesthetic points of view. At present, non-absorbable synthetic polymers are the most widely used class of biomaterials for the manufacturing of mesh implants for hernia, pelvic floor dysfunctions and guided bone regeneration, with polypropylene and poly tetrafluoroethylene being the most common. Biological prostheses, such as surgical grafts, have been employed mainly for breast plastic surgery and wound healing applications. Despite the advantages of mesh implants to the treatment of these conditions, there are still many drawbacks, mainly related to the arising of a huge number of post-operative complications, among which infections are the most common. Developing a mesh that could appropriately integrate with the native tissue, promote its healing and constructive remodelling, is the key aim of ongoing research in the area of surgical mesh implants. To this end, the adoption of new biomaterials including absorbable and natural polymers, the use of drugs and advanced manufacturing technologies, such as 3D printing and electrospinning, are under investigation to address the previously mentioned challenges and improve the outcomes of future clinical practice. The aim of this work is to review the key advantages and disadvantages related to the use of surgical meshes, the main issues characterizing each clinical procedure and the future directions in terms of both novel manufacturing technologies and latest regulatory considerations. Graphic abstract
Dimitrios A Lamprou
added a research item
Implantable devices are versatile and promising drug delivery systems and their advantages are well established. Of these advantages, long acting drug delivery is perhaps the most valuable. Hydrophilic compounds are particularly difficult to deliver for prolonged times. This work investigates the use of poly(caprolactone) (PCL)-based implant coatings as a novel strategy to prolong the delivery of hydrophilic compounds from implantable devices that have been prepared by additive manufacturing (AM). Hollow implants were prepared from poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) using fused filament fabrication (FFF) AM and subsequently coated in a PCL-based coating. Coatings were prepared by solution casting mixtures of differing molecular weights of PCL and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG). Increasing the proportion of low molecular weight PCL up to 60% in the formulations decreased the crystallinity by over 20%, melting temperature by over 4°C and water contact angle by over 40°, resulting in an increased degradation rate when compared to pure high molecular weight PCL. Addition of 30% PEG to the formulation increased the porosity of the formulation by over 50% when compared to an equivalent PCL only formulation. These implants demonstrated in vitro release rates for hydrophilic model compounds (methylene blue and ibuprofen sodium) ranging from 0.01 to 34.09 mg/day, depending on the drug used. The versatility of the devices produced in this work and the range of release rates achievable show great potential. Implants could be specifically developed in order to match the specific release rate required for a number of drugs for a wide range of conditions.
Dimitrios A Lamprou
added a research item
Introduction: A pandemic is the worst-case scenario in the field of infectious diseases. Innovative technologies have the potential to address the challenges associated with the manufacture of personalized drug delivery systems, biosensors, and medical devices during a pandemic. 3D-Printing, microfluidics, and Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) can provide an important part on this fight, as are cheap, easy to be operated, capable to provide rapid detection and monitoring of a disease, and deliver medicines. Areas covered: This manuscript answers the question of how these emerging technologies can save lives during a pandemic by avoiding supply chain delays and also by providing rapid diagnostics, disease monitoring, or by offering personalized treatments. The manuscript covers recent approaches in the topic with a focus in manuscripts published in the last year and by emphasising recent regulatory considerations by regulatory agencies in the manufacturing of 3DP systems or other medical devices during COVID. Expert commentary: New manufacturing techniques are emerging with the ability to address the challenges associated with the development of medical devices or diagnostics, during a pandemic. Are many challenges in order to achieve this and especially in short times that are required under a pandemic attack, which will also be covered in this manuscript.
Dimitrios A Lamprou
added 2 research items
The 3D printing (3DP) process was patented in 1986; however, only in the last decade has it been used for medical applications, as well as being utilized in the fields of prosthetics, bio-fabrication, and pharmaceutical printing. 3DP or additive manufacturing (AM) is a family of technologies that implement layer-by-layer processes in order to fabricate physical models, based on a computer aided design (CAD) model. 3D printing permits the fabrication of high degrees of complexity with great reproducibility, in a fast and cost-effective fashion. 3DP technology offers a new paradigm for the direct manufacture of individual dosage forms, and has the potential to allow for variations in their size and geometry, varied to control the dose and release behavior. Furthermore, the low cost and ease of use of 3DP systems means that the possibility of manufacturing medicines and medical devices at the point of dispensing or at the point of use could become a reality. 3DP thus offers the perfect innovative manufacturing route to address this critical capability gap, hindering the widespread exploitation of personalized medicines and for molecules that are currently not easy to be deliver. This book will address new developments in the area of 3D printing and bioprinting for drug delivery applications, covering the recent advantages and future directions of additive manufacturing for pharmaceutical products.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) and Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) are two prevalent disorders affecting 30-40% of women worldwide. Current strategies to repair or improve these medical conditions are non-surgical options such as physiotherapy, or surgical options such as the use of vaginal meshes. The synthetic material polypropylene (PP), which has long been used for manufacturing these vaginal meshes, is associated with severe complications such as chronic pain, infection or mesh erosion. As a result of a widespread reporting and unacceptably high rates of complications, these issues have become a public health concern. Regulatory bodies have recently deemed the transvaginal placement of PP mesh in the pelvic floor (PF) no longer a suitable treatment method for PF repair, leading to the need for a novel approach to the manufacture and selection of materials for urogynecological meshes. Medical devices, such as vaginal meshes can be manufactured using a variety of techniques including injection moulding, electrospinning, hot-melt extrusion (HME) or more recently 3D printing. Over the past decade, the use of 3D printing within the medical device industry has expanded and offers a promising approach to manufacture patient-specific surgical mesh when combined with imaging tools. This review will summarise the current strategies to treat POP and SUI, the issues and use of current meshes for the treatment of these pelvic floor disorders (PFDs), and the future directions for the manufacture of more suitable urogynecological meshes, as well as their potential materials.
Dimitrios A Lamprou
added a research item
The high demand on medical devices and personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 crisis left millions of health care professionals unprotected in the middle of this situation, as governments around the world were not prepared for such pandemic. The three-dimensional printing (3DP) community, from universities to 3DP enthusiasts with printers at home, was there to support hospitals from day 1 on this demand by providing PPE and other medical supplies (e.g., face shields and valves for respiratory machines). This editorial covers the importance of 3DP in the fight against COVID-19 and how this can be used to tackle potential pandemics and support the supply chain.
Dimitrios A Lamprou
added an update
Pharmaceutics - Open Access Journal (IF 4.773 – Q1), Topical Collection in "3D Printing and Bioprinting Applications in Pharmaceutics" (https://mdpi.com/journal/pharmaceutics/special_issues/3D_Bioprinting_Pharmaceutics…). Guest Editors: Dimitrios A. Lamprou & Eneko Larrañeta
This collection invites papers in the area of 3DP and bioprinting for pharmaceutical applications, covering recent advantages and future directions of additive manufacturing (AM) for pharmaceutical products, including regulatory considerations and modelling approaches. Original research papers and review articles are welcome.
 
Dimitrios A Lamprou
added a research item
As process of 3D printing was patented in 1986 the research in the field of 3DP did not become popular until the last decade. However, there has been increasing research into the areas of 3DP for medical applications for fabricating prosthetics, bio-printing and pharmaceutics. This novel method allows manufacture of dosage forms on demand, with modifications in the geometry and size resulting in changes to release and dosage behaviour of the product. 3DP will allow wider adoption of personalised medicine due to the diversity and simplicity to change the design and dosage of the products, allowing the devices to be designed specific to the individual with the ability to alternate the drugs added to the product. Personalisation also has the potential to decrease the common side effects associated with generic dosage forms. This special issue outlines the current innovative research surrounding the topic of 3DP focusing on bioprinting and various types of 3DP on applications for drug delivery as well advantages and future directions in this field of research.
Dimitrios A Lamprou
added 10 research items
Lignin (LIG) is a natural biopolymer with well-known antioxidant capabilities. Accordingly, in the present work, a method to combine LIG with poly(lactic acid) (PLA) for fused filament fabrication applications (FFF) is proposed. For this purpose, PLA pellets were successfully coated with LIG powder and a biocompatible oil (castor oil). The resulting pellets were placed into an extruder at 200 °C. The resulting PLA filaments contained LIG loadings ranging from 0% to 3% (w/w). The obtained filaments were successfully used for FFF applications. The LIG content affected the mechanical and surface properties of the overall material. The inclusion of LIG yielded materials with lower resistance to fracture and higher wettabilities. Moreover, the resulting 3D printed materials showed antioxidant capabilities. By using the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) method, the materials were capable of reducing the concentration of this compound up to ca. 80% in 5 h. This radical scavenging activity could be potentially beneficial for healthcare applications, especially for wound care. Accordingly, PLA/LIG were used to design meshes with different designs for wound dressing purposes. A wound healing model compound, curcumin (CUR), was applied in the surface of the mesh and its diffusion was studied. It was observed that the dimensions of the meshes affected the permeation rate of CUR. Accordingly, the design of the mesh could be modified according to the patient’s needs.
The role of two and three-dimensional printing as a fabrication technology for sophisticated transdermal drug delivery systems is explored in literature. 3D printing encompasses a family of distinct technologies that employ a virtual model to produce a physical object through numerically controlled apparatuses. The applicability of several printing technologies has been researched for the direct or indirect printing of microneedle arrays or for the modification of their surface through drug-containing coatings. The findings of the respective studies are presented. The range of printable materials that are currently used or potentially can be employed for 3D printing of transdermal drug delivery (TDD) systems is also reviewed. Moreover, the expected impact and challenges of the adoption of 3D printing as a manufacturing technique for transdermal drug delivery systems, are assessed. Finally, this paper outlines the current regulatory framework associated with 3D printed transdermal drug delivery systems.
In this study, polymeric microneedle patches were fabricated by stereolithography, a 3D printing technique, for the transdermal delivery of insulin. A biocompatible resin was photopolymerized to build pyramid and cone microneedle designs followed by inkjet print coating of insulin formulations., trehalose and xylitol were used as drug carriers with the aim to preserve insulin integrity and stability but also facilitate rapid release rates. Circular dichroism and Raman analysis demonstrated that all carriers maintained the native form of insulin with xylitol presenting the best performance. Franz cell release studies were used for in vitro determination of insulin release rates in porcine skin. Insulin was released rapidly within 30 min irrespectively of the microneedle design. 3D printing was proved an effective technology for the fabrication of biocompatible and scalable microneedle patches.
Dimitrios A Lamprou
added a project goal
Manufacturing of drug delivery systems, medical devices, and implants using innovative 3D printing & bioprinting technologies; including in-house preparation of filaments by hot-melt extrusion (HME). Research led by the Lamprou Lab.