Multi-material 3D printing of programmable and stretchable oromucosal patches for delivery of saquinavir

Shaolong He, Carmen Radeke, Jette Bredahl Jacobsen, Johan Ulrik Lind*, Huiling Mu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Oromucosal patches for drug delivery allow fast onset of action and ability to circumvent hepatic first pass metabolism of drugs. While conventional fabrication methods such as solvent casting or hot melt extrusion are ideal for scalable production of low-cost delivery patches, these methods chiefly allow for simple, homogenous patch designs. As alternative, a multi-material direct-ink-write 3D printing for rapid fabrication of complex oromucosal patches with unique design features was demonstrated in the present study. Specifically, three print-materials: an acidic saquinavir-loaded hydroxypropyl methylcellulose ink, an alkaline effervescent sodium carbonate-loaded ink, and a methyl cellulose backing material were combined in various designs. The CO2 content and pH of the microenvironment were controlled by adjusting the number of alkaline layers in the patch. Additionally, the rigid and brittle patches were converted to compliant and stretchable patches by implementing mesh-like designs. Our results illustrate how 3D printing can be used for rapid design and fabrication of multifunctional or customized oromucosal patches with tailored dosages and changed drug permeation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121236
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • 3D printing
  • Buccal delivery
  • Direct ink writing
  • Microenvironmental pH
  • Oromucosal patch
  • Saquinavir


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