Development of a Biodegradable Subcutaneous Implant for Prolonged Drug Delivery Using 3D Printing

Sarah Stewart, Juan Domínguez-Robles, Victoria J McIlorum, Elena Mancuso, Dimitrios Lamprou, Ryan F. Donnelly, Eneko Larraneta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)
196 Downloads (Pure)


Implantable drug delivery devices offer many advantages over other routes of drug delivery. Most significantly, the delivery of lower doses of drug, thus, potentially reducing side-effects and improving patient compliance. Three dimensional (3D) printing is a flexible technique, which has been subject to increasing interest in the past few years, especially in the area of medical devices. The present work focussed on the use of 3D printing as a tool to manufacture implantable drug delivery devices to deliver a range of model compounds (methylene blue, ibuprofen sodium and ibuprofen acid) in two in vitro models. Five implant designs were produced, and the release rate varied, depending on the implant design and the drug properties. Additionally, a rate controlling membrane was produced, which further prolonged the release from the produced implants, signalling the potential use of these devices for chronic conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105
Number of pages16
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 28 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was financially supported by the Wellcome Trust (WT094085MA). Sarah A. Stewart is a PhD candidate funded by a Department for the Economy (Northern Ireland) studentship.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • 3D printing
  • biodegradable
  • implantable devices
  • prolonged drug delivery
  • subcutaneous


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