Peptides and proteins represent a promissory group of molecules used by the pharmaceutical industry for drug therapy with great potential for development. However, the administration of these molecules presents a series of difficulties, making necessary the exploration of new alternatives like the buccal route of administration to improve drug therapy compliance. Although drop-on demand printers have been explored for small molecule drugs with promising results, the development of delivery systems for peptides and proteins through inkjet printing has seen little development. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of using a thermal inkjet printing system for dispensing lysozyme and ribonuclease-A as model proteins. To address the absorption limitations of a potential buccal use, a permeation enhancer (sodium deoxycholate) was also studied in formulations. We found that a conventional printer successfully printed both proteins, exhibiting very high printing efficiency. Furthermore, the protein structure was not affected and minor effects were observed in the enzymatic activity after the printing process. In conclusion, we provide evidence for the usage of an inexpensive, easy to use, reliable, and reproducible thermal inkjet printing system to dispense proteins solutions for potential buccal application. Our research significantly contributes to present an alternative for manufacturing biologics delivery systems, with emphasis in buccal applications. Next steps of developments will be aimed at the use of new materials for printing, controlled release, and protection strategies for proteins and peptides.
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M. Montenegro-Nicolini acknowledges the funding support from CONICYT 21150995. J.O. Morales thanks the financial support from FONDECYT 11130235 and FONDAP 15130011.
Conflict of Interest
The authors report no conflict of interest. The authors alone are responsible for the content and writing of this article.
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Montenegro-Nicolini, M., Miranda, V. & Morales, J.O. Inkjet Printing of Proteins: an Experimental Approach. AAPS J 19, 234–243 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1208/s12248-016-9997-8