Fabrication of Drug-Loaded Hydrogels with Stereolithographic 3D Printing


3D printing (3DP) technologies have been attracting much recent interest as new methods of fabricating medicines and medical devices. Of the many types of 3DP available, stereolithographic (SLA) printing offers the unique advantage of being able to fabricate objects by cross-linking resins to form networked polymer matrices. Because water can be entrapped in these matrices, it is possible in principle to fabricate pre-wetted, drug-loaded hydrogels and devices. Here, SLA printing was used to prepare ibuprofen-loaded hydrogels of cross-linked polyethylene glycol diacrylate. Hydrogels containing up to 30% w/w water, and 10% w/w ibuprofen, were successfully printed. Dissolution profiles showed that drug release rates were dependent on water content, with higher water content hydrogels releasing drug faster. The conclusion is that SLA 3DP offers a new manufacturing route to pharmaceutical hydrogels.


High drugloaded hydrogel by 3D printing