Fused deposition modeling three-dimensional printing of flexible polyurethane intravaginal rings with controlled tunable release profiles for multiple active drugs

Drug Deliv Transl Res. 2022 Apr;12(4):906-924. doi: 10.1007/s13346-022-01133-6. Epub 2022 Feb 24.


We designed and engineered novel intravaginal ring (IVR) medical devices via fused deposition modeling (FDM) three-dimensional (3D) printing for controlled delivery of hydroxychloroquine, IgG, gp120 fragment (encompassing the CD4 binding site), and coumarin 6 PLGA-PEG nanoparticles (C6NP). The hydrophilic polyurethanes were utilized to 3D-print reservoir-type IVRs containing a tunable release controlling membrane (RCM) with varying thickness and adaptable micro porous structures (by altering the printing patterns and interior fill densities) for controlled sustained drug delivery over 14 days. FDM 3D printing of IVRs were optimized and implemented using a lab-developed Cartesian 3D printer. The structures were investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) imaging and in vitro release was performed using 5 mL of daily-replenished vaginal fluid simulant (pH 4.2). The release kinetics of the IVR segments were tunable with various RCM (outer diameter to inner diameter ratio ranging from 1.12 to 2.61) produced from FDM 3D printing by controlling the printing perimeter to provide daily zero-order release of HCQ ranging from 23.54 ± 3.54 to 261.09 ± 32.49 µg/mL/day. IgG, gp120 fragment, and C6NP release rates demonstrated pattern and in-fill density-dependent characteristics. The current study demonstrated the utility of FDM 3D printing to rapidly fabricate complex micro-structures for tunable and sustained delivery of a variety of compounds including HCQ, IgG, gp120 fragment, and C6NP from IVRs in a controlled manner.

Keywords: 3D-printing; Fused deposition modeling; HIV; Intravaginal ring; Nanoparticles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Drug Liberation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Polyurethanes* / chemistry
  • Printing, Three-Dimensional*
  • Technology, Pharmaceutical / methods


  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Polyurethanes