Preparation and investigation of novel gastro-floating tablets with 3D extrusion-based printing

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Graphical abstractThree dimensional (3D) extrusion-based printing is a paste-based rapid prototyping process, which is capable of building complex 3D structures. The aim of this study was to explore the feasibility of 3D extrusion-based printing as a pharmaceutical manufacture technique for the fabrication of gastro-floating tablets. Novel low-density lattice internal structure gastro-floating tablets of dipyridamole were developed to prolong the gastric residence time in order to improve drug release rate and consequently, improve bioavailability and therapeutic efficacy. Excipients commonly employed in the pharmaceutical study could be efficiently applied in the room temperature 3D extrusion-based printing process. The tablets were designed with three kinds of infill percentage and prepared by hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC K4M) and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC E15) as hydrophilic matrices and microcrystalline cellulose (MCC PH101) as extrusion molding agent. In vitro evaluation of the 3D printed gastro-floating tablets was performed by determining mechanical properties, content uniformity, and weight variation. Furthermore, re-floating ability, floating duration time, and drug release behavior were also evaluated. Dissolution profiles revealed the relationship between infill percentage and drug release behavior. The results of this study revealed the potential of 3D extrusion-based printing to fabricate gastro-floating tablets with more than 8 h floating process with traditional pharmaceutical excipients and lattice internal structure design.

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