3D-printed implantable devices with biodegradable rate-controlling membrane for sustained delivery of hydrophobic drugs

Camila J. Picco, Juan Domínguez-Robles, Emilia Utomo, Alejandro J. Paredes, Fabiana Volpe-Zanutto, Dessislava Malinova, Ryan F. Donnelly, Eneko Larrañeta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
67 Downloads (Pure)


Implantable drug delivery systems offer an alternative for the treatments of long-term conditions (i.e. schizophrenia, HIV, or Parkinson's disease among many others). The objective of the present work was to formulate implantable devices loaded with the model hydrophobic drug olanzapine (OLZ) using robocasting 3D-printing combined with a pre-formed rate controlling membrane. OLZ was selected as a model molecule due to its hydrophobic nature and because is a good example of a molecule used to treat a chronic condition schizophrenia. The resulting implants consisted of a poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) implant coated with a poly(caprolactone) (PCL)-based membrane. The implants were loaded with 50 and 80% (w/w) of OLZ. They were prepared using an extrusion-based 3D-printer from aqueous pastes containing 36-38% (w/w) of water. The printing process was carried out at room temperature. The resulting implants were characterized by using infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, thermal analysis, and X-ray diffraction. Crystals of OLZ were present in the implant after the printing process. release studies showed that implants containing 50% and 80% (w/w) of OLZ were capable of providing drug release for up to 190 days. On the other hand, implants containing 80% (w/w) of OLZ presented a slower release kinetics. After 190 days, total drug release was ca. 77% and ca. 64% for implants containing 50% and 80% (w/w) of OLZ, respectively. The higher PEO content within implants containing 50% (w/w) of OLZ allows a faster release as this polymer acts as a co-solvent of the drug.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1038-1048
Number of pages11
JournalDrug Delivery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2022


  • 3D-printing
  • Drug Liberation
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
  • Olanzapine
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Polymers - chemistry
  • Printing, Three-Dimensional
  • implant
  • sustained delivery


Dive into the research topics of '3D-printed implantable devices with biodegradable rate-controlling membrane for sustained delivery of hydrophobic drugs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this