The goal of this work was to study the printability of PDMS with a semi-solid extrusion printer in combination with the UV-assisted crosslinking technology using UV-LED light to manufacture drug containing structures. Structures with different pore sizes and different drug loadings were prepared containing prednisolone as a model drug.
The work showed that it was possible to print drug-free and drug-loaded drug delivery devices of PDMS with the 3D printing technique used in this study. The required UV-curing time to get sufficient crosslinking yield and mechanical strength was minimum three minutes. The microgram drug release from the printed structures was highest for the most drug loaded structures regardless of the porosity of the devices. By altering the surface area/volume ratio it was possible to print structures with differences in the release rate.
This study shows that room-temperature semi-solid extrusion printing 3D printing technique in combination with UV-LED crosslinking is an applicable method in the production of prednisolone containing PDMS devices. Both the extrusion 3D printing and the UV-crosslinking was done at room temperature, which make this manufacturing method an interesting alternative for manufacturing controlled release devices containing temperature susceptible drugs.