Development of a Workflow to Engineer Tailored Microparticles Via Inkjet Printing

Christina Winter, Manuel Zettl, Jérôme Mantanus, Eftychios Hadjittofis, Gerd Leitinger, Dagmar Kolb, Wen Kai Hsiao, Martin Spoerk, Amrit Paudel, Eva Roblegg, Joana T. Pinto*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: New drug development and delivery approaches result in an ever-increasing demand for tailored microparticles with defined sizes and structures. Inkjet printing technologies could be promising new processes to engineer particles with defined characteristics, as they are created to precisely deliver liquid droplets with high uniformity. Methods: D-mannitol was used as a model compound alone or co-processed with the pore former agent ammonium bicarbonate, and the polymer polyethylene glycol 200. Firstly, a drop shape analyzer was used to characterize and understand ink/substrate interactions, evaporation, and solidification kinetics. Consequently, the process was transferred to a laboratory-scale inkjet printer and the resulting particles collected, characterized and compared to others obtained via an industrial standard technique. Results: The droplet shape analysis allowed to understand how 3D structures are formed and helped define the formulation and process parameters for inkjet printing. By adjusting the drop number and process waveform, spherical particles with a mean size of approximately 100 µm were obtained. The addition of pore former and polymer allowed to tailor the crystallization kinetics, resulting in particles with a different surface (i.e., spike-like surface) and bulk (e.g. porous and non-porous) structure. Conclusion: The workflow described enabled the production of 3D structures via inkjet printing, demonstrating that this technique can be a promising approach to engineer microparticles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-294
Number of pages14
JournalPharmaceutical Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • D-mannitol
  • excipient
  • inkjet printing
  • microparticles
  • particle engineering
  • spray drying

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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