The effects of solid particle containing inks on the printing quality of porous pharmaceutical structures fabricated by 3D semi-solid extrusion printing

Xin-Yi Teoh, Bin Zhang, Peter Belton, Siok-Yee Chan, Sheng Qi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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Purpose: Semi-solid extrusion (SSE) 3D printing has potential pharmaceutical applications for producing personalised medicine. However, the effects of ink properties and drug incorporation on the quality of printed medication have not been thoroughly studied, particularly for porous geometries. This study aimed to investigate the effects of the presence of solid drug particles in SSE inks on the printing quality of porous structures.

Method: The rheological behaviour of model inks of paracetamol (PCM)-hypromellose (HPMC) with different drug loadings were investigated and correlated to their printing qualities.

Results: For the inks with PCM loading above the drug solubility in which suspended solid drug particulates were present, the results confirmed that PCM loading and particle size significantly affected the ink viscosities at a low shear rate. At a low shear rate, the highest viscosity was identified when the highest drug loading and the smallest PCM particles were incorporated into the inks. However, the results indicated that the SSE printing parameters and printing quality of porous structures (with less porous structural deformation) have no clear correlation with the shear viscosity data, but a strong correlation with the dynamic oscillatory rheology of the inks.

Conclusion: The key rheological parameters including storage modulus, loss modulus and complex viscosity of the ink increased with increasing drug loading for the inks containing solid drug particles. However, decreasing the particle size did not have a clear effect on the oscillatory rheology of the inks which can be potentially used for optimising the SSE 3D printing quality of porous geometries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1267–1279
Number of pages13
JournalPharmaceutical Research
Issue number6
Early online date3 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • 3D printing
  • dimensional fidelity
  • ink rheology
  • particle size
  • semi-solid extrusion

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