Year

2016

Degree Name

Master of Philosophy

Department

Australian Institute for Innovative Materials

Abstract

The objective of the project is to develop a 3D printed scaffold capable of permitting quick release of the anti-inflammatory Dexamethasone, while simultaneously maintaining slow release of the anti-epileptic drug Phenytoin. It is anticipated that the scaffold will be suitable or intracerebral implantation for the prophylactic treatment of seizures: the slow release anti-epileptic intended as a replacement for daily self-medication, and the simultaneous short-term release of the anti-inflammatory in order to minimise any inflammation caused during implantation. The implant serves not only for the prophylactic treatment of epilepsy patients, but also presents a use in the prophylactic treatment of seizures in patients who are at high risk of postoperative seizures when implanted following a neurosurgical procedure.

Unlike traditional drug release models, which generally are restricted to a single drug, this research involves multi-drug release; utilizing advances in the field of 3D Bioprinting. New breakthroughs in 3D bioprinting allow fabrication of composite multi-polymer structures that permit the complex release profiles required for multi-drug delivery systems.

The project explores the extrusion printing of drug-loaded scaffolds with analysis into the effect of polymer type, synthesis and variation in 3D structures on the drug-release profile. It then focuses on the fabrication of a 3D structured polymer composite, enabling the concurrent dual release of the quick-release Dexamethasone and the slow release Phenytoin; altering release rates initially via the simple variation of scaffold morphology such as layer number, and then moving onto more complex variations such as shell shape and thickness.

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