Fabrication of controlled-release budesonide tablets via desktop (FDM) 3D printing

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The aim of this work was to explore the feasibility of using fused deposition modelling (FDM) 3D printing (3DP) technology with hot melt extrusion (HME) and fluid bed coating to fabricate modified-release budesonide dosage forms. Budesonide was sucessfully loaded into polyvinyl alcohol filaments using HME. The filaments were engineered into capsule-shaped tablets (caplets) containing 9 mg budesonide using a FDM 3D printer; the caplets were then overcoated with a layer of enteric polymer. The final printed formulation was tested in a dynamic dissolution bicarbonate buffer system, and two commercial budesonide products, Cortiment® (Uceris®) and Entocort®, were also investigated for comparison. Budesonide release from the Entocort® formulation was rapid in conditions of the upper small intestine while release from the Cortiment® product was more delayed and very slow. In contrast, the new 3D printed caplet formulation started to release in the mid-small intestine but release then continued in a sustained manner throughout the distal intestine and colon. This work has demonstrated the potential of combining FDM 3DP with established pharmaceutical processes, including HME and film coating, to fabricate modified release oral dosage forms.

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