Fused deposition modelling three-dimensional printing of solid dosage forms

  • Sinmisola A. Oladeji

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Three-dimensional printing (3DP) is a widely used technique for the design and manufacture of complex solid dosage forms with the objective of formulating personalized medicines and on-demand manufacturing. Among commercially available models, fused deposition modelling 3D-printing (FDM-3DP) has shown the potential to fabricate objects with various internal structures and the ability to introduce multiple specific functionalities. This thesis’s main aim was to understand printability in FDM-3DP and the factors influencing it, as well as to manufacture novel gastro-retentive floating drug delivery systems through FDM-3DP using pharmaceutical excipients. Hot-melt extrusion (HME) was implemented to fabricate filaments with adequate properties for FDM-3DP. Rheological, mechanical and physical characterisation of filaments were evaluated to provide information on the impact of these properties on the FDM 3DP process. Theophylline-loaded filaments, suitable for FDM-3DP, were successfully formulated using three polymeric carriers (Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), Hydroxypropyl Cellulose (HPC), and Soluplus®). FDM-3DP enabled the manufacture of monolithic and non-monolithic floating drug delivery systems using a sandwich design. The tablet design showed the ability to achieve prolonged gastric floating (12 hours) with no floating lag time. Formulations containing Soluplus® or HPC with Eudragit RLPO provided zero-order sustained release of theophylline (THP). Fixed-dose bilayer floating tablets were also manufactured. This thesis displayed the ability of FDM-3DP to manufacture bespoke floating tablets using pharmaceutical excipients with tailored drug release profiles.

Thesis embargoed until 31 December 2026.
Date of AwardDec 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SupervisorGavin Andrews (Supervisor), Min Zhao (Supervisor) & Shu Li (Supervisor)


  • 3D printing
  • Fused deposition modelling (FDM)
  • gastric floating
  • sustained release
  • zero-order release
  • rheology
  • oral solid dosage forms
  • fixed dose combinations

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