Fused deposition modelling for the development of drug loaded cardiovascular prosthesis

Niamh K. Martin, Juan Domínguez-Robles, Sarah A. Stewart, Victoria A. Cornelius, Qonita Kurnia Anjani, Emilia Utomo, Inmaculada García-Romero, Ryan F. Donnelly, Andriana Margariti, Dimitrios A. Lamprou*, Eneko Larrañeta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)


Cardiovascular diseases constitute a number of conditions which are the leading cause of death globally. To combat these diseases and improve the quality and duration of life, several cardiac implants have been developed, including stents, vascular grafts and valvular prostheses. The implantation of these vascular prosthesis has associated risks such as infection or blood clot formation. In order to overcome these limitations medicated vascular prosthesis have been previously used. The present paper describes a 3D printing method to develop medicated vascular prosthesis using fused deposition modelling (FDM) technology. For this purpose, rifampicin (RIF) was selected as a model molecule as it can be used to prevent vascular graft prosthesis infection. Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and RIF were combined using hot melt extrusion (HME) to obtain filaments containing RIF concentrations ranging between 0 and 1% (w/w). These materials are capable of providing RIF release for periods ranging between 30 and 80 days. Moreover, TPU-based materials containing RIF were capable of inhibiting the growth of Staphylococcus aureus. This behaviour was observed even for TPU-based materials containing RIF concentrations of 0.1% (w/w). TPU containing 1% (w/w) of RIF showed antimicrobial properties even after 30 days of RIF release. Alternatively, these methods were used to prepare dipyridamole containing TPU filaments. Finally, using a dual extrusion 3D printer vascular grafts containing both drugs were prepared.
Original languageEnglish
Article number120243
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Early online date21 Jan 2021
Publication statusEarly online date - 21 Jan 2021


  • Fused Deposition Modelling
  • 3D-printing
  • Thermoplastic Polyurethane
  • Vascular Graft
  • Rifampicin
  • Dipyridamole


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