Amelt solidification technique has been developed to obtain sustained-release waxy beads of flurbiprofen. Low glass transition temperature (tg) and shear-induced crystallization of flurbiprofen made it a suitable candidate for melt solidification technique. The process involved emulsification and solidification of flurbiprofen-cetyl alcohol melt at significantly low temperature (5°C). The effect of variables, namely, the amount of cetyl alcohol and the speed of agitation, was studied using 32 factorial design. The technique and the beads were evaluated on the basis of process and desired yield, surface topography, Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), particle size distribution, crushing strength, and drug release. Average values for process and desired yields were 97% wt/wt and 26% wt/wt, respectively. No interaction was observed between drug and excipient. Multiple regression analysis was carried out, and response surfaces were obtained. A curvilinear relationship was observed between percentage of desired yield and the amount of cetyl alcohol. Linear decrease in crushing strength was observed with increase in the amount of cetyl alcohol. Drug released from the beads followed zero order kinetics. Burst release was shown to a greater extent in beads containing a lower amount of cetyl alcohol. Response surfaces of time required for certain percentage of drug (tD%) showed that after critical concentration of about 20% of cetyl alcohol (400 mg/batch), no significant release retardant effect was observed.
Keywords: flurbiprofen, melt solidification technique, factorial design, cetyl alcohol, response surface methodology, zero order kinetics