Printing of small molecular medicines from the vapor phase. Academic Article uri icon


  • There is growing need to develop efficient methods for early-stage drug discovery, continuous manufacturing of drug delivery vehicles, and ultra-precise dosing of high potency drugs. Here we demonstrate the use of solvent-free organic vapor jet printing to deposit nanostructured films of small molecular pharmaceutical ingredients, including caffeine, paracetamol, ibuprofen, tamoxifen, BAY 11-7082 and fluorescein, with accuracy on the scale of micrograms per square centimeter, onto glass, Tegaderm, Listerine tabs, and stainless steel microneedles. The printed films exhibit similar crystallographic order and chemistry as theoriginal powders; controlled, order-of-magnitude enhancements of dissolution rate are observed relative to powder-form particles. In vitro treatment of breast and ovarian cancer cell cultures in aqueous media by tamoxifen and BAY 11-7082 films shows similar behavior to drugs pre-dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide. The demonstrated precise printing of medicines as films, without the use of solvents, can accelerate drug screening and enable continuous manufacturing, while enhancing dosage accuracy.Traditional approaches used in the pharmaceutical industry are not precise or versatile enough for customized medicine formulation and manufacture. Here the authors produce a method to form coatings, with accurate dosages, as well as a means of closely controlling dissolution kinetics.

published proceedings

  • Nat Commun

altmetric score

  • 242.638

author list (cited authors)

  • Shalev, O., Raghavan, S., Mazzara, J. M., Senabulya, N., Sinko, P. D., Fleck, E., ... Shtein, M.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Shalev, Olga||Raghavan, Shreya||Mazzara, J Maxwell||Senabulya, Nancy||Sinko, Patrick D||Fleck, Elyse||Rockwell, Christopher||Simopoulos, Nicholas||Jones, Christina M||Schwendeman, Anna||Mehta, Geeta||Clarke, Roy||Amidon, Gregory E||Shtein, Max

publication date

  • January 2017