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AAPS PharmSciTech. 2002 June; 3(2): 97–104.
Published online 2002 May 16. doi:  10.1208/pt030216
PMCID: PMC2750318

Diffusion of a freely water-soluble drug in aqueous enteric-coated pellets


The effects of filler used in the pellet cores (ie, waxy cornstarch or lactose) and the enteric film coat thickness on the diffusion and dissolution of a freely soluble drug were studied. Two kinds of pellet cores containing riboflavin sodium phosphate as a model drug, microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) as a basic filler, and waxy cornstarch or lactose as a cofiller were film coated (theoretically weight increase 20% or 30%) with an aqueous dispersion of cellulose acetate phthalate (CAP). The diffusion of riboflavin sodium phosphate in aqueous enteric-coated pellets was investigated using noninvasive confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). The in vitro release tests were performed using a USP apparatus I (basket method). Diffusion of drug from the core to the film coat was found to be greater with lactose-containing pellets than with waxy cornstarch-containing pellets. The dissolution test showed that 30% enteric-coated waxy cornstarch pellets had a good acidic resistance in 0.1 N HCl solution for at least 1 hour, while the other enteric pellet formulations failed the test. The waxy cornstarch-containing enteric pellets dissolved at SIF in less than 10 minutes. Confocal images of film-coated pellets showed that waxy cornstarch-containing pellets had less drug dissolved than respective lactose-containing pellets. The observations were further confirmed by measurement of fluorescence intensity of riboflavin sodium phosphate in the film coat. The dissolution test was consistent with the confocal microscopy results. In conclusion, waxy cornstarch as a cofiller in the pellet cores minimizes premature drug diffusion from the core into the film coat layer.

Key Words: aqueous enteric coating, pellets, diffusion, waxy cornstarch, gastric resistance, confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM)

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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