Can Liposomes Survive Inkjet Printing? The Effect of Jetting on Key Liposome Attributes for Drug Delivery Applications

Carolina Alva, Ivan Vidakovic, Barbara Lorber, Anna-Laurence Schachner-Nedherer, Manuel Zettl, Johannes G. Khinast, Ruth Prassl, Wen-Kai Hsiao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Inkjet printing has the potential to enable novel personalized and tailored drug therapies based on liposome and lipid nanoparticles. However, due to the significant shear force exerted on the jetted fluids, its suitability for shear-sensitive materials such as liposomes, has not been verified. We have conducted a proof-of-concept study to examine whether the particle concentration and size distribution of placebo liposomes are affected by common inkjet/dispensing technologies.

Methods: We have subjected three types of liposome-containing fluids ("inks") to two different commercial dispensing/jetting technologies, which are relevant to most drug printing approaches. The liposome jetting processes were observed in real-time using strobographic imaging techniques. The phospholipid concentrations and particle size distributions were determined before and after jetting via enzymatic colorimetric and dynamic light scattering methods, respectively.

Results: Our results have shown that the jetting dynamics of the liposome inks are well predicted by the established inkjet printing regime map based on their physical properties and the jetting conditions. Importantly, although significant shear forces were confirmed during jetting, the liposome concentrations and particle size distributions in the collected samples remain largely unaffected.

Conclusion: These findings, we believe, provide the essential proof-of-concept to encourage further development in this highly topical research area.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical Innovation
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Mar 2022


  • Drug delivery system
  • Inkjet printing
  • Lipid nanoparticles
  • Liposomes
  • Personalized medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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