Precise Dosing of Pramipexole for Low-Dosed Filament Production by Hot Melt Extrusion Applying Various Feeding Methods

Rebecca Chamberlain, Hellen Windolf, Simon Geissler, Julian Quodbach*, Jörg Breitkreutz

*Corresponding author for this work

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The aim of this research was the production of low-dosed filaments via hot-melt extrusion (HME) with the model drug pramipexole for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. The active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and one of the polymers polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) or basic butylated methacrylate copolymer (bPMMA) were fed by various dosing techniques with the aim of achieving the smallest deviation (RSD) from the target concentration of 0.1% (w/w) pramipexole. It was found that deviation from target pramipexole concentration occurred due to degradation products in bPMMA formulations. Additionally, material temperature above 120C led to the formation of the anhydrous form of pramipexole within the extruded filaments and need to be considered in the calculation of the recovered API. This study clearly shows that even if equilibrium state of the extrusion parameters was reached, equilibrium condition for drug content was reached relatively late in the process. In addition, the RSD calculated by the Stange–Poole equation was proposed by us to predict the final content uniformity considering the sample size of the analyzed filament. The calculated RSD, depending on sample size and drug load, can serve as upper and lower limits of variation from target concentration and can be used to evaluate the deviations of drug content in equilibrium conditions of the HME process. The lowest deviations from target concentration in equilibrium condition for drug content were obtained in filaments extruded from previously prepared granule mixtures (RSD = 6.00%, acceptance value = 12.2). These promising results can be transferred to other API–excipient combinations to produce low-dosed filaments, which can be used for, e.g., fused filament 3D printing. The introduced calculation of the RSD by Stange–Poole equation can be used for precise determination of the homogeneity of an extruded batch.

Original languageEnglish
Article number216
Pages (from-to)1-17
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Analytics of extruded filaments
  • Content uniformity
  • Fused filament 3D printing
  • Hot melt extrusion
  • Low-dosed filament production
  • Oral dosage form
  • Personalized medicine
  • Various dosing techniques


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