Influence of drug load on the printability and solid-state properties of 3D-printed naproxen-based amorphous solid dispersion
Journal article, 2021

Fused deposition modelling-based 3D printing of pharmaceutical products is facing challenges like brittleness and printability of the drug-loaded hot-melt extruded filament feedstock and stabilization of the solid-state form of the drug in the final product. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of the drug load on printability and physical stability. The poor glass former naproxen (NAP) was hot-melt extruded with Kollidon® VA 64 at 10–30% w/w drug load. The extrudates (filaments) were characterised using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). It was confirmed that an amorphous solid dispersion was formed. A temperature profile was developed based on the results from TGA, DSC, and DMA and temperatures used for 3D printing were selected from the profile. The 3D-printed tablets were characterised using DSC, X-ray computer microtomography (XµCT), and X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD). From the DSC and XRPD analysis, it was found that the drug in the 3D-printed tablets (20 and 30% NAP) was amorphous and remained amorphous after 23 weeks of storage (room temperature (RT), 37% relative humidity (RH)). This shows that adjusting the drug ratio can modulate the brittleness and improve printability without compromising the physical stability of the amorphous solid dispersion.

Additive manufacturing

X-ray computed microtomography

Hot-melt extrusion

Fused deposition modelling

3D printing

Glass solution


Eric Ofosu Kissi

University of Oslo

Robin Nilsson

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry

Liebert Parreiras Nogueira

University of Oslo

Anette Larsson

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry

Ingunn Tho

University of Oslo


1420-3049 (ISSN)

Vol. 26 15 4492

Subject Categories

Inorganic Chemistry


Materials Chemistry





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