Pharmaceutical-grade oral films as substrates for printed medicine

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Abstract

In contact-less printing, such as piezo-electric drop on demand printing used in the study, the drop formation process is independent of the substrate. This means that having developed a printable formulation, printed pharmaceutical dosage forms can be obtained on any pharmaceutical grade substrate, such as polymer-based films. In this work we evaluated eight different oral films based on their suitability as printing substrates for sodium picosulfate. The different polymer films were compared regarding printed spot morphology, chemical stability and dissolution profile. The morphology of printed sodium picosulfate was investigated with scanning electron microscopy and optical coherence tomography. The spreading of the deposited drops was found to be governed by the contact angle of the ink with the substrate. The form of the sodium picosulfate drops changed on microcrystalline cellulose films at ambient conditions over 8 weeks and stayed unchanged on other tested substrates. Sodium picosulfate remained amorphous on all substrates according to small and wide angle X-ray scattering, differential scanning calorimetry and polarized light microscopy measurements. The absence of chemical interactions between the drug and substrates, as indicated by infrared spectroscopy, makes all tested substrates suitable for printing sodium picosulfate onto them.

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