Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Engineering - (M.S.)


Chemical, Biological and Pharmaceutical Engineering

First Advisor

Murat Guvendiren

Second Advisor

Ecevit Atalay Bilgili

Third Advisor

Piero M. Armenante


There is a growing interest in utilizing additive manufacturing (AM) as a manufacturing tool to develop oral tablets for personalized medicine. This ultimate goal in mind, this study explores the feasibility of extrusion-based fused deposition modeling (FDM) to 3D print oral tablets with tunable design to control drug release profile. Tablets are printed using poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) loaded with model drugs: acetaminophen and caffeine. Hot melt extrusion (HME) is used to fabricate PVA filaments loaded with acetaminophen and caffeine. These filaments are used to fabricate a range of tablets with varying designs to prepare immediate and delayed release tablets. Thermal characterization combined with rheology is used to determine the processing (extrusion) and printing temperature, and to confirm that none of the ingredients are degraded throughout these processes. Both of the model drugs remained amorphous post-extrusion and post-printing. Dissolution tests show that 80% of the acetaminophen is released within 30 minutes for the immediate release tablets. For the delayed release studies, the lag time of 30, 90 and 120 minutes are observed for 0.5, 1 and 1.5 mm coating of PVA, respectively. Our results show that FDM is a promising way for personalized medicine where the release can be controlled by changing the tablet design.



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