Electro-hydrodynamic drop-on-demand printing of aqueous suspensions of drug nanoparticles

Ezinwa Elele, Yueyang Shen, Rajyalakshmi Boppana, Afolawemi Afolabi, Ecevit Bilgili, Boris Khusid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We demonstrate the ability to fabricate dosage forms of a poorly water-soluble drug by using wet stirred media milling of a drug powder to produce an aqueous suspension of nanoparticles and then print it onto a porous biocompatible film. Contrary to conventional printing technologies, a deposited material is pulled out from the nozzle. This feature enables printing highly viscous materials with a precise control over the printed volume. Drug (griseofulvin) nanosuspensions prepared by wet media milling were printed onto porous hydroxypropyl methylcellulose films prepared by freeze-drying. The drug particles retained crystallinity and polymorphic form in the course of milling and printing. The versatility of this technique was demonstrated by printing the same amount of nanoparticles onto a film with droplets of different sizes. The mean drug content (0.19–3.80 mg) in the printed films was predicted by the number of droplets (5–100) and droplet volume (0.2–1.0 µL) (R2 = 0.9994, p-value < 10−4). Our results also suggest that for any targeted drug content, the number-volume of droplets could be modulated to achieve acceptable drug content uniformity. Analysis of the model-independent difference and similarity factors showed consistency of drug release profiles from films with a printed suspension. Zero-order kinetics described the griseofulvin release rate from 1.8% up to 82%. Overall, this study has successfully demonstrated that the electro-hydrodynamic drop-on-demand printing of an aqueous drug nanosuspension enables accurate and controllable drug dosing in porous polymer films, which exhibited acceptable content uniformity and reproducible drug release.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1034
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmaceutical Science


  • Biocompatible films
  • Drop-on-demand printing
  • Drug release profile
  • Nanoparticles
  • Poorly water-soluble drugs
  • Precision dosage form


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