Library Dissertation Showcase

3D printing of solid oral dosage forms: a design process to aid compliance in the elderly

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2021

Patient compliance is often referend to as adherence to medical guidance and is vital for desired clinical outcomes. It is shown to be of increased significance in elderly populations. Since the early 2000s, the pharmaceutical industry has been introduced to various three-dimensional printing techniques, which have been shown to improve current methods. This project aims to produce a novel design of a solid oral dosage form, with the intention of improving compliance within the elderly. A multi-disciplinary approach will be taken for the design, with the use of techniques such as crystallisation, granulation, and three-dimensional printing.
The Cambridge Structural Database, ChemDraw, and Mercury were used for the determination of cocrystal formation. Hydrogen bond prediction was used to assess cocrystal stability and strength. A short literature review was conducted to produce the design of the ideal solid oral dosage form. The final product was designed using three-dimensional printing software.
The software allowed for the determination of co-formers for the production of a cocrystal with Simvastatin, including sweeteners, amino acids and B-vitamins. Saccharin, a sweetener, was shown to have the strongest hydrogen bonding overall. The literature review detailed that round white tablets of 8mm were best received in the elderly population.
Alitame is 2000-8000 times sweeter than sucrose and has strong hydrogen bonding, thus would form a stable co-crystal with Simvastatin. This shows not only does the co-former allow for co-crystallisation but can also be utilised for taste masking to further improve compliance. A final dosage print produced was of irregular shape; limited research means this may not be ideal in tablet form. It is, however, possible for use as an orally disintegrating tablet, particularly with the discovery of sweetener co-formers. This idea is something to be further investigated to aid the improvement of compliance in the ageing population.

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