The use of inkjet printing (IJP) technology enables the flexible manufacturing of personalized medicine with the doses tailored for each patient. In this study we demonstrate, for the first time, the applicability of IJP in the production of edible dosage forms in the pattern of a quick response (QR) code. This printed pattern contains the drug itself and encoded information relevant to the patient and/or healthcare professionals. IJP of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API)-containing ink in the pattern of QR code was performed onto a newly developed porous and flexible, but mechanically stable substrate with a good absorption capacity. The printing did not affect the mechanical properties of the substrate. The actual drug content of the printed dosage forms was in accordance with the encoded drug content. The QR encoded dosage forms had a good print definition without significant edge bleeding. They were readable by a smartphone even after storage in harsh conditions. This approach of efficient data incorporation and data storage combined with the use of smart devices can lead to safer and more patient-friendly drug products in the future.
In this study we have shown the possibility of combining IJP with QR coding technology to produce dosage forms with important information for the patient and/or healthcare efficiently encoded in the dosage form itself. A porous and flexible, but strong enough substrate was developed to allow for IJP of QR encoded dosage forms with a good definition of the resulting print and a possibility to be handled by end users. The readability of QR encoded dosage forms by a smartphone app was still possible even after storage in harsh conditions. This approach of efficient data incorporation and data storage can improve traceability of the printed formulation, e.g., for the end user and health care professionals in the future.