Customizable orodispersible films: Inkjet printing and data matrix encoding for personalized hydrocortisone dosing

The aim of this study was to exploit the versatility of inkjet printing to develop flexible doses of drug-loaded orodispersible films that encoded information in a data matrix pattern, and to introduce a specialised data matrix-generator software specifically focused on the healthcare sector. Pharma-inks (drug-loaded inks) containing hydrocortisone (HC) were developed and characterised based on their rheological properties and drug content. Different strategies were investigated to improve HC solubility: formation of β-cyclodextrin complexes, Soluplus® based micelles, and the use of co-solvent systems. The software automatically adapted the data matrix size and identified the number of layers for printing. HC content deposited in each film layer was measured, and it was found that the proportion of co-solvent used directly affected the drug solubility and simultaneously played a role in the modification of the viscosity and surface tension of the inks. The formation of β-cyclodextrin complexes improved the drug quantity deposited in each layer. On the contrary, micelle-based inks were not suitable for printing. Orodispersible films containing flexible and low doses of personalised HC were successfully prepared, and the development of a code generator software oriented to medical use provided an additional, innovative, and revolutionary advantage to personalised medicine safety and accessibility.

keywords: Data-enriched edible pharmaceuticals; Personalized medicine