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1.  Stabilization of hot-melt extrusion formulations containing solid solutions using polymer blends 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2007;8(2):E152-E161.
This study was aimed at enhancing the physical stability of the drug clotrimazole (CT) and the polymer contained within hot-melt extrusion (HME) films using polymer blends of hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) and poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO). The HME films were investigated for solid-state characteristics, moisture sorption, bioadhesivity, mechanical properties, glass transition temperature, release characteristics, and physical and chemical stability of the drug and the polymer within the HME films. The solid-state characterization of the drug and the polymer was performed using differential scanning calorimetry, x-ray diffractometry, and dynamic mechanical analysis. A texture analyzer was used to study the bioadhesive and mechanical properties of the HME films. The physical and chemical stability of the films, stored at 25°C/60% relative humidity or in a desiccator, was studied for up to 12 months. CT was found to be in solid solution within all of the formulations extruded. The physical stability of the drug and PEO in the HME films increased with increasing HPC concentration, but the bioadhesivity and flexibility of the PEO films decreased with increasing HPC concentration. Films containing HPC: PEO∶CT in the ratio of 55∶35∶10 demonstrated optimum physical-mechanical, bioadhesive, and release properties. In conclusion, polymer blends of HPC and PEO were used successfully to tailor the drug release, mechanical and bio-adhesive properties, and stability of the HME films.
PMCID: PMC2750365  PMID: 17622123
Solid solution; physical stability; hot-melt extrusion; polymers; physicochemical characterization
2.  Effect of Drug Solubility on Polymer Hydration and Drug Dissolution from Polyethylene Oxide (PEO) Matrix Tablets 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2008;9(2):437-443.
The purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of drug solubility on polymer hydration and drug dissolution from modified release matrix tablets of polyethylene oxide (PEO). Different PEO matrix tablets were prepared using acetaminophen (ACE) and ibuprofen (IBU) as study compounds and Polyox® WSR301 (PEO) as primary hydrophilic matrix polymer. Tablet dissolution was tested using the USP Apparatus II, and the hydration of PEO polymer during dissolution was recorded using a texture analyzer. Drug dissolution from the preparations was dependent upon drug solubility, hydrogel formation and polymer proportion in the preparation. Delayed drug release was attributed to the formation of hydrogel layer on the surface of the tablet and the penetration of water into matrix core through drug dissolution and diffusion. A multiple linear regression model could be used to describe the relationship among drug dissolution, polymer ratio, hydrogel formation and drug solubility; the mathematical correlation was also proven to be valid and adaptable to a series of study compounds. The developed methodology would be beneficial to formulation scientists in dosage form design and optimization.
PMCID: PMC2976924  PMID: 18431663
drug dissolution; modified release; polymer hydration; texture analyzer
3.  Polymeric micelles for the solubilization and delivery of STAT3 inhibitor cucurbitacins in solid tumors 
International journal of pharmaceutics  2007;347(1-2):118-127.
Poly(ethylene oxide)-block-poly(ε-caprolactone) (PEO-b-PCL) and newly developed poly(ethylene oxide)-block-poly(α-benzyl carboxylate ε-caprolactone) (PEO-b-PBCL) micelles were evaluated for the solubilization and delivery of cucurbitacin I and B, poorly water soluble inhibitors of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3). Encapsulation of cucurbitacins in PEO-b-PCL and PEO-b-PBCL by co-solvent evaporation technique resulted in polymeric micelles <90 nm in diameter. The aqueous solubility of both derivatives increased from less than 0.05 mg/mL in the absence of the copolymer to around 0.30–0.44 and 0.65–0.68 mg/mL in the presence of 5000–5000 and 5000–24,000 PEO-b-PCL micelles, respectively. Maximum cucurbitacin solubilization was achieved with PEO-b-PBCL micelles for both derivatives. PEO-b-PCL micelles having longer PCL block were found to be more efficient in sustaining the rate of release for cucurbitacins. The anti-cancer and STAT3 inhibitory activity of polymeric micellar cucurbitacins were comparable with free drugs in B16.F10 melanoma cell line in vitro. Intratumoral injection of 1 mg/kg/day cucurbitacin I resulted in the regression of established B16.F10 mouse melanoma tumors in vivo. In comparison to free cucurbitacin I, PEO-b-PBCL micellar cucurbitacin I was found to provide comparable anti-cancer effects against B16.F10 tumors and limit drug levels in animal serum while maintaining high drug levels in tumor following intratumoral administration. The results indicate the potential of polymeric micelles as suitable vehicles for the delivery of cucurbitacin- I and B.
PMCID: PMC2663961  PMID: 17681440
Polymeric micelles; Cucurbitacin; Solubilization; Drug delivery; STAT3
4.  Floating Matrix Tablets of Domperidone Formulation and Optimization Using Simplex Lattice Design 
The purpose of this research was to prepare a floating matrix tablet containing domperidone as a model drug. Polyethylene oxide (PEO) and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) were evaluated for matrix-forming properties. A simplex lattice design was applied to systemically optimize the drug release profile. The amounts of PEO WSR 303, HPMC K15M and sodium bicarbonate were selected as independent variables and floating lag time, time required to release 50% of drug (t50) and 80% of drug (t80), diffusion coefficient (n) and release rate (k) as dependent variables. The amount of PEO and HPMC both had significant influence on the dependent variables. It was found that the content of PEO had dominating role as drug release controlling factor, but using suitable concentration of sodium bicarbonate, one can tailor the desired drug release from hydrophilic matrixes. The linear regression analysis and model fitting showed that all these formulations followed Korsmeyer and Peppas model, which had a higher value of correlation coefficient (r). The tablets of promising formulation were found to be stable for 3 months under accelerated (40°C / 75% RH) stability testing.
PMCID: PMC3813035  PMID: 24250376
Domperidone; Floating matrix tablets; Simplex lattice design; Release kinetics; Polyethylene oxide; Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose; Floating lag time; Total floating time.
5.  Development of Push–Pull Osmotic Tablets Using Chitosan–Poly(Acrylic Acid) Interpolymer Complex as an Osmopolymer 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2010;12(1):132-140.
The objectives of this study were to prepare push–pull osmotic tablets (PPOT) of felodipine using an interpolymer complex of chitosan (CS) and poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) as an osmopolymer, and to study the mechanisms of drug release from these tablets. The interpolymer complexes were prepared with different weight ratios of CS to PAA. Preparation of PPOT involved the fabrication of bilayered tablets with the drug layer, containing felodipine, polyethylene oxide, and the polymeric expansion layer, containing the CS–PAA complex. The effects of polymer ratios, type of plasticizers, and compression forces on release characteristics were investigated. It was found that drug release from PPOT exhibited zero-order kinetics and could be prolonged up to 12 or 24 h depending on the plasticizer used. PPOT using dibutyl sebacate showed a longer lag time and slower drug release than that using polyethylene glycol 400. In the case of polyethylene glycol 400, an increase in the CS proportion resulted in an increase in the drug release rate. The compression force had no effect on drug release from PPOT. Drug release was controlled by two consecutive mechanisms: an osmotic pump effect resulting in the extrusion of the drug layer from the tablet and subsequent erosion and dissolution of the extruded drug layer in the dissolution medium. The mathematical model (zero-order) related to extrusion and erosion rates for describing the mechanism of drug release showed a good correlation between predicted and observed values.
PMCID: PMC3066366  PMID: 21181509
chitosan; felodipine; interpolymer complex; poly(acrylic acid); push–pull osmotic tablet
6.  Klucel™ EF and ELF polymers for immediate-release oral dosage forms prepared by melt extrusion technology 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2012;13(4):1158-1169.
The objective of this research work was to evaluate Klucel™ hydroxypropylcellulose (HPC) EF and ELF polymers, for solubility enhancement as well as to address some of the disadvantages associated with solid dispersions. Ketoprofen (KPR), a Biopharmaceutics Classification System class II drug with poor solubility, was utilized as a model compound. Preliminary thermal studies were performed to confirm formation of a solid solution/dispersion of KPR in HPC matrix and also to establish processing conditions for hot-melt extrusion. Extrudates pelletized and filled into capsules exhibited a carrier-dependent release with ELF polymer exhibiting a faster release. Tablets compressed from milled extrudates exhibited rapid release owing to the increased surface area of the milled extrudate. Addition of mannitol (MNT) further enhanced the release by forming micro-pores and increasing the porosity of the extrudates. An optimized tablet formulation constituting KPR, MNT, and ELF in a 1:1:1 ratio exhibited 90% release in 15 min similar to a commercial capsule formulation. HPC polymers are non-ionic hydrophilic polymers that undergo polymer-chain-length-dependent solubilization and can be used to enhance solubility or dissolution rate of poorly soluble drugs. Dissolution/release rate could be tailored for rapid-release applications by selecting a suitable HPC polymer and altering the final dosage form. The release obtained from pellets was carrier-dependent and not drug-dependent, and hence, such a system can be effectively utilized to address solubility or precipitation issues with poorly soluble drugs in the gastrointestinal environment.
PMCID: PMC3513444  PMID: 22961411
hot-melt extrusion; Klucel™ EF/ELF; solid solutions/dispersions; solubility enhancement; thermal miscibility evaluation
7.  Water Dynamics and Interactions in Water-Polyether Binary Mixtures 
Poly(ethylene) oxide (PEO) is a technologically important polymer with a wide range of applications including ion-exchange membranes, protein crystallization, and medical devices. PEO’s versatility arises from its special interactions with water. Water molecules may form hydrogen bond bridges between the ether oxygens of the backbone. While steady-state measurements and theoretical studies of PEO’s interactions with water abound, experiments measuring dynamic observables are quite sparse. A major question is the nature of the interactions of water with the ether oxygens as opposed to the highly hydrophilic PEO terminal hydroxyls. Here, we examine a wide range of mixtures of water and tetraethylene glycol dimethyl ether (TEGDE), a methyl-terminated derivative of PEO with 4 repeat units (5 ether oxygens) using ultrafast infrared polarization selective pump-probe measurements on water’s hydroxyl stretching mode to determine vibrational relaxation and orientational relaxation dynamics. The experiments focus on the dynamical interactions of water with the ether backbone because TEGDE does not have the PEO terminal hydroxyls. The experiments observe two distinct subensembles of water molecules: those that are hydrogen bonded to other waters and those that are associated with TEGDE molecules. The water orientational relaxation has a fast component of a few ps (water-like) followed by much slower decay of ∼20 ps (TEGDE associated). The two decay times vary only mildly with the water concentration. The two subensembles are evident even in very low water content samples, indicating pooling of water molecules. Structural change as water content is lowered either through conformational changes in the backbone or increasing hydrophobic interactions is discussed.
PMCID: PMC2889155  PMID: 19323522
8.  Use of fine particle ethylcellulose as the diluent in the production of pellets by extrusion-spheronization 
The effect of small ethylcellulose particle size on the manufacture and properties of pellets produced by extrusion-spheronization was investigated. A factorial design revealed the effects of microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), polyethylene oxide (PEO), water, and spheronization speed and time on pellet properties. Response surface modeling allowed optimization of the responses with expansion to a central composite design. Pellet yield, size, shape, friability and drug release profile were studied, along with surface and interior morphology. Pellets were spherical irrespective of the formulation and process variables and exhibited physical and mechanical characteristics appropriate for further processing. Yield in the 12/20 mesh cut was lower with FPEC than observed with coarse particle ethylcellulose (CPEC), but FPEC-containing pellets were more rugged and the PEO to obtain optimal pellets was lower for FPEC compared to CPEC. Immediate release products were obtained and ethylcellulose particle size was of no consequence to drug release. Observed responses for the optimized product agreed with predicted values, demonstrating the success of the optimization procedure. These results suggest that FPEC is a good diluent for extrusion-spheronization.
PMCID: PMC4142371  PMID: 25161381
Ethylcellulose; Extrusion; Microcrystalline cellulose; Pellets; Poly(ethylene oxide); Spheronization
9.  Kaempferol nanoparticles achieve strong and selective inhibition of ovarian cancer cell viability 
Ovarian cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death for women throughout the Western world. Kaempferol, a natural flavonoid, has shown promise in the chemoprevention of ovarian cancer. A common concern about using dietary supplements for chemoprevention is their bioavailability. Nanoparticles have shown promise in increasing the bioavailability of some chemicals. Here we developed five different types of nanoparticles incorporating kaempferol and tested their efficacy in the inhibition of viability of cancerous and normal ovarian cells. We found that positively charged nanoparticle formulations did not lead to a significant reduction in cancer cell viability, whereas nonionic polymeric nanoparticles resulted in enhanced reduction of cancer cell viability. Among the nonionic polymeric nanoparticles, poly(ethylene oxide)-poly(propylene oxide)-poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO-PPO-PEO) nanoparticles incorporating kaempferol led to significant reduction in cell viability of both cancerous and normal cells. Poly(DL-lactic acid-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles incorporating kaempferol resulted in enhanced reduction of cancer cell viability together with no significant reduction in cell viability of normal cells compared with kaempferol alone. Therefore, both PEO-PPO-PEO and PLGA nanoparticle formulations were effective in reducing cancer cell viability, while PLGA nanoparticles incorporating kaempferol had selective toxicity against cancer cells and normal cells. A PLGA nanoparticle formulation could be advantageous in the prevention and treatment of ovarian cancers. On the other hand, PEO-PPO-PEO nanoparticles incorporating kaempferol were more effective inhibitors of cancer cells, but they also significantly reduced the viability of normal cells. PEO-PPO-PEO nanoparticles incorporating kaempferol may be suitable as a cancer-targeting strategy, which could limit the effects of the nanoparticles on normal cells while retaining their potency against cancer cells. We have identified two nanoparticle formulations incorporating kaempferol that may lead to breakthroughs in cancer treatment. Both PEO-PPO-PEO and PLGA nanoparticle formulations had superior effects compared with kaempferol alone in reducing cancer cell viability.
PMCID: PMC3410694  PMID: 22866004
nanochemoprevention; kaempferol; ovarian cancer; nanoparticles; viability; natural compound
10.  Exploring the Potential of A Highly Compressible Microcrystalline Cellulose as Novel Tabletting Excipient in the Compaction of Extended-Release Coated Pellets Containing an Extremely Water-Soluble Model Drug 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2009;10(3):850-857.
Compaction of controlled-release coated pellets into tablets is challenging because of the fusion of pellets and the rupturing of coated film. The difficulty in compaction intensifies with the use of extremely water-soluble drugs. Therefore, the present study was conducted to prepare and compact pellets containing pseudoephedrine hydrochloride as an extremely water-soluble model drug. The pellets were produced using an extrusion–spheronization technique. The drug-loaded pellets were coated to extend the drug release up to 12-h employing various polymers, and then they were compressed into tablets using microcrystalline cellulose Ceolus KG-801 as a novel tabletting excipient. The in vitro drug release studies of coated pellets and tablets were undertaken using the USP basket method in dissolution test apparatus I. The amount of drug released was analyzed at a wavelength of 215 nm. The combined coatings of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose and Kollicoat SR-30D yielded 12-h extended-release pellets with drug release independent of pH of dissolution medium following zero-order kinetics. The drug release from the tablets prepared using inert Celous KG-801 granules as tabletting excipient was found faster than that of coated pellets. However, a modification in drug release rate occurred with the incorporation of inert Ceolus KG-801 pellets. The drug dissolution profile from tablets containing 40% w/w each of coated pellets and inert granules along with 20% w/w inert pellets was found to be closely similar to that of coated pellets. Furthermore, the friability, tensile strength, and disintegration time of the tablets were within the USP specifications.
PMCID: PMC2802164  PMID: 19554454
ceolus KG-801; compaction of coated pellets; microcrystalline cellulose; pseudoephedrine hydrochloride; tabletting excipients
11.  Gastroretentive Pulsatile Release Tablets of Lercanidipine HCl: Development, Statistical Optimization, and In Vitro and In Vivo Evaluation 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:421931.
The present study was aimed at the development of gastroretentive floating pulsatile release tablets (FPRTs) of lercanidipine HCl to enhance the bioavailability and treat early morning surge in blood pressure. Immediate release core tablets containing lercanidipine HCl were prepared and optimized core tablets were compression-coated using buoyant layer containing polyethylene oxide (PEO) WSR coagulant, sodium bicarbonate, and directly compressible lactose. FPRTs were evaluated for various in vitro physicochemical parameters, drug-excipient compatibility, buoyancy, swelling, and release studies. The optimized FPRTs were tested in vivo in New Zealand white rabbits for buoyancy and pharmacokinetics. DoE optimization of data revealed FPRTs containing PEO (20% w/w) with coat weight 480 mg were promising systems exhibiting good floating behavior and lag time in drug release. Abdominal X-ray imaging of rabbits after oral administration of the tablets, confirmed the floating behavior and lag time. A quadratic model was suggested for release at 7th and 12th h and a linear model was suggested for release lag time. The FPRT formulation improved pharmacokinetic parameters compared to immediate release tablet formulation in terms of extent of absorption in rabbits. As the formulation showed delay in drug release both in vitro and in vivo, nighttime administration could be beneficial to reduce the cardiovascular complications due to early morning surge in blood pressure.
PMCID: PMC4261557  PMID: 25525619
12.  Influence of Plasticizers on the Stability and Release of a Prodrug of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Incorporated in Poly (Ethylene Oxide) Matrices 
The objective of the present research was to stabilize a heat-labile novel prodrug of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), THC-hemiglutarate (THC-HG), in polyethylene oxide (PEO) [PolyOx® WSR N-80 (PEO N-80), MW 200,000 Daltons] polymeric matrix systems produced by hot-melt fabrication for systemic delivery of THC through the oral transmucosal route. For this purpose, the effects of processing conditions (processing temperature and heating duration), plasticizer type and concentration and storage conditions on the stability of the prodrug were investigated. The selected plasticizers studied included vitamin E succinate (VES), acetyltributyl citrate (ATBC), triethyl citrate (TEC), triacetin and polyethylene glycol 8000 (PEG 8000). Furthermore, the influence of plasticizer concentration on drug release was also studied. The stability of THC-HG in PEO matrices was influenced by all of the aforementioned variables. Films processed at 110 °C for 7 min were found to be favorable for hot-melt processing with a post- processing drug content of 95%, while significant degradation of THC-HG (~42%) was observed in those processed at 200 °C for 15 min. The degradation of the prodrug during hot-melt fabrication and also upon storage was considerably reduced in the presence of the plasticizers investigated, VES being the most effective. Modulation of the microenvironmental pH to an acidic range via incorporation of citric acid in PEO-plasticizer matrices significantly improved the stability of the prodrug, with almost 90% of the theoretical drug remaining as opposed to only 15% remaining in PEO-only matrices when stored at 40 °C for up to 3 months. The release of drug from PEO matrices was influenced both by the plasticizer type and concentration. A faster release resulted from water-soluble plasticizers, PEG 8000 and triacetin, and with increasing concentration. However, a slower release was observed with an increase in concentration of water-insoluble plasticizers, VES and ATBC.
PMCID: PMC2628598  PMID: 18602993
THC; Plasticizers; Stability; Hot-melt; Poly (ethylene oxide); Release; Microenvironmental pH; Prodrug
13.  Development and Evaluation of a Novel Modified-Release Pellet-Based Tablet System for the Delivery of Loratadine and Pseudoephedrine Hydrochloride as Model Drugs 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2010;11(2):910-916.
Modified-release multiple-unit tablets of loratadine and pseudoephedrine hydrochloride with different release profiles were prepared from the immediate-release pellets comprising the above two drugs and prolonged-release pellets containing only pseudoephedrine hydrochloride. The immediate-release pellets containing pseudoephedrine hydrochloride alone or in combination with loratadine were prepared using extrusion–spheronization method. The pellets of pseudoephedrine hydrochloride were coated to prolong the drug release up to 12 h. Both immediate- and prolonged-release pellets were filled into hard gelatin capsule and also compressed into tablets using inert tabletting granules of microcrystalline cellulose Ceolus KG-801. The in vitro drug dissolution study conducted using high-performance liquid chromatography method showed that both multiple-unit capsules and multiple-unit tablets released loratadine completely within a time period of 2 h, whereas the immediate-release portion of pseudoephedrine hydrochloride was liberated completely within the first 10 min of dissolution study. On the other hand, the release of pseudoephedrine hydrochloride from the prolonged release coated pellets was prolonged up to 12 hr and followed zero-order release kinetic. The drug dissolution profiles of multiple-unit tablets and multiple-unit capsules were found to be closely similar, indicating that the integrity of pellets remained unaffected during the compression process. Moreover, the friability, hardness, and disintegration time of multiple-unit tablets were found to be within BP specifications. In conclusion, modified-release pellet-based tablet system for the delivery of loratadine and pseudoephedrine hydrochloride was successfully developed and evaluated.
PMCID: PMC2902326  PMID: 20496016
extrusion–spheronization; loratadine; modified-release multiple-unit tablet; pseudoephedrine hydrochloride
14.  Development and Evaluation of Buccoadhesive Controlled Release Tablets of Lercanidipine 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2008;9(1):182-190.
The purpose of this research was to develop and evaluate buccal mucoadhesive controlled release tablets of lercanidipine hydrochloride using polyethylene oxide and different viscosity grades of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose individually and in combination. Effect of polymer type, proportion and combination was studied on the drug release rate, release mechanism and mucoadhesive strength of the prepared formulations. Buccal mucoadhesive tablets were made by direct compression and were characterized for content uniformity, weight variation, friability, surface pH, thickness and mechanism of release. In order to estimate the relative enhancement in bioavailability one optimized formulation was evaluated in rabbits. Further, placebo tablets were also evaluated for acceptability in human subjects. Results indicated acceptable physical characteristics of designed tablets with good content uniformity and minimum weight variation. Drug release and mucoadhesive strength were found to depend upon polymer type, proportion and viscosity. The formulations prepared using poly ethylene oxide gave maximum mucoadhesion. The release mechanism of most formulations was found to be of anomalous non-Fickian type. In vivo studies of selected formulation in rabbits demonstrated significant enhancement in bioavailability of lercanidipine hydrochloride relative to orally administered drug. Moreover, in human acceptability studies of placebo formulations, the designed tablets adhered well to the buccal mucosa for more than 4 h without causing any discomfort. It may be concluded that the designed buccoadhesive controlled release tablets have the potential to overcome the disadvantage of poor and erratic oral bioavailability associated with the presently marketed formulations of lercanidipine hydrochloride.
PMCID: PMC2976881  PMID: 18446480
buccal; hydroxypropyl methylcellulose; lercanidipine; mucoadhesive; poly ethylene oxide
15.  The Influence of Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose on Drug Release from Polyethylene Oxide Extended Release Matrices 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2011;12(3):862-871.
Anionic polymer sodium carboxymethylcellulose (CELLOGEN® HP-HS and/or HP-12HS) was investigated for its ability to influence the release of three model drugs propranolol hydrochloride, theophylline and ibuprofen from polyethylene oxide (POLYOX™ WSR 1105 and/or Coagulant) hydrophilic matrices. For anionic ibuprofen and non-ionic theophylline, no unusual/unexpected release profiles were obtained from tablets containing a mixture of two polymers. However, for cationic propranolol HCl, a combination of polyethylene oxide (PEO) with sodium carboxymethylcellulose (NaCMC) produced a significantly slower drug release compared to the matrices with single polymers. The potential use of this synergistic interaction can be a design of new extended release pharmaceutical dosage forms with a more prolonged release (beyond 12 h) using lower polymer amount, which could be particularly beneficial for freely water-soluble drugs, preferably for once daily oral administration. In order to explain changes in the obtained drug release profiles, Fourier transform infrared absorption spectroscopy was performed. A possible explanation for the more prolonged propranolol HCl release from matrices based on both PEO and NaCMC may be due to a chemical bond (i.e. ionic/electrostatic intermolecular interaction) between amine group of the cationic drug and carboxyl group of the anionic polymer, leading to a formation of a new type/form of the active (i.e. salt) with sustained release pattern.
PMCID: PMC3167260  PMID: 21710334
extended release; FT-IR; ibuprofen; matrix tablet; polyethylene oxide; polymer combination; propranolol hydrochloride; sodium carboxymethylcellulose; theophylline
16.  Development of a Melting Tablet Containing Promethazine HCl Against Motion Sickness 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2008;9(3):1006-1015.
The purpose of this study was to design a ‘Traveller Friendly Drug Delivery System’ for PM-HCl. Conventional promethazine (PM-HCl) tablets are bitter, need to be taken 1 h before symptoms and water is also needed. Taste-masked granules were produced with Eudragit® E100 by extrusion, and analyzed with FTIR, DSC, and XRD. Tablets formulated from granules by direct compression using Ac-Di-Sol, Polyplasdone®-XL, Primojel® and ion-exchanger Tulsion®339 and evaluated for mass uniformity, friability, tensile strength, drug content uniformity, water absorption ratio, in-vitro and in-vivo disintegration time and in-vitro dissolution studies. The observed drug-polymer interactions and reduced crystallinity may be reasons for increased dissolution rates. The formulated tablets were disintegrated within 15 s. Tablets (25 mg PM-HCl) with Ac-Di-Sol (4%) showed complete release within 1 min, while marketed conventional tablets (Phenergan®; Rhone-Poulec) release 25% during the same period. A preliminary stability studies for the prepared tablets carried at 30 ± 2°C/60 ± 5% RH, and 40 ± 2°C/75 ± 5%RH for 3 months showed no significant changes in the tablets quality at 30 ± 2°C/60 ± 5% RH. However, at 40 ± 2°C/75 ± 5%RH marked increase in in-vitro disintegration time, tensile strength and decrease in friability and water absorption ratio was found. The present studies indicate the abilities of Eudragit® E 100 for taste masking and improving the dissolution profile of PM-HCl after complexation. In addition, by employing cost effective direct compression method, fast-dissolving tablets of 400 mg total weight with an acceptable quality could be prepared.
PMCID: PMC2977014  PMID: 18770049
Eudragit® E 100; Eudragit® RD 100; promethazine hydrochloride; rapidly disintegrating tablet; stability study; superdisintegrants
17.  Formulation of Controlled-Release Capsules of Biopharmaceutical Classification System I Drugs Using Niacin as a Model 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2010;11(4):1650-1661.
Vitamin B3 is made up of niacin (nicotinic acid) and its amide, niacinamide. Both have equivalent vitamin activity, but only niacin (not niacinamide) is effective in lowering elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. Administration of an extended-release (ER) oral tablet would frequently encounter food. If hydrogel is used to formulate the matrix of a biopharmaceutical classification system I drug (high solubility and high permeability), the dosage form absorbs water and swells.. The softened outer layer may be slashed off by food present in the stomach, thus, exposing the core tablet more readily for water absorption and speeding up drug release from its original designed rate. This project aimed to formulate niacin CR pellets made of hydrophobic inert matrix. After niacin was melted with excipients and cooled, the mass was extruded and spheronized into pellets. Size distribution and flowability were determined before pellets were filled into hard gelatin capsule. The USP dissolution study revealed that a candidate formulation of 250 mg in strength released similar amount of niacin as its commercial reference, niacin controlled-release 500 mg tablet, in 6 h (223.9 ± 23.8 mg, n = 4 versus 259.4 ± 2.6 mg, n = 3). The differential scanning calorimetry study of the pellets in capsules stored in 40°C for 4 weeks, and the content assay of capsules in 40°C up to 6 months suggested that niacin was stable within the innovative formulation. In vitro release from this innovative ER capsules stored at 40°C up to 4 weeks were also investigated.
PMCID: PMC3011082  PMID: 21107774
controlled-release; flowability; innovative formulation; in vitro release; niacin; particle size analysis; pellets; Raman image
18.  Comparative evaluation of tableting compression behaviors by methods of internal and external lubricant addition: Inhibition of enzymatic activity of trypsin preparation by using external lubricant addition during the tableting compression process 
AAPS PharmSci  2001;3(3):32-42.
This study evaluated tableting compression by using internal and external lubricant addition. The effect of lubricant addition on the enzymatic activity of trypsin, which was used as a model drug during the tableting compression process, was also investigated. The powder mixture (2% crystalline trypsin, 58% crystalline lactose, and 40% microcrystalline cellulose) was kneaded with 5% hydroxypropyl cellulose aqueous solution and then granulated using an extruding granulator equipped with a 0.5-mm mesh screen at 20 rpm. After drying, the sample granules were passed through a 10-mesh screen (1680 μm). A 200-mg sample was compressed by using 8-mm punches and dies at 49, 98, 196, or 388 MPa (Mega Pascal) at a speed of 25 mm/min. The external lubricant compression was performed using granules without lubricant in the punches and dies. The granules were already dry coated by the lubricant. In contrast, the internal lubricant compression was performed using sample granules (without dry coating) containing 0.5% lubricant. At 98 MPa, for example, the compression level using the external lubricant addition method was about 13% higher than that for internal addition. The significantly higher compressing energy was also observed at other MPas. By comparison, the friction energy for the external addition method calculated based on upper and lower compression forces was only slightly larger. The hardness of tablets prepared using the internal addition method was 34% to 48% lower than that for the external addition method. The total pore volume of the tablet prepared using the external addition method was significantly higher. The maximum ejection pressure using the no-addition method (ie, the tablet was prepared using neither dry-coated granules nor added lubricant) was significantly higher than that of other addition methods. The order was as follows: no addition, external addition, and then internal addition. The ejection energy (EE) for internal addition was the lowest; for no addition, EE was the highest. In the dissolution test, the tablets obtained using external addition immediately disintegrated and showed faster drug release than those prepared using internal addition. This result occurred because the water penetration rate of the tablet using the external addition was much higher. The trypsin activity in tablets prepared using the external addition method was significantly higher than that produced using the internal addition method at the same pressure. All these results suggest that the external addition method might produce a fast-dissolution tablet. Because the drug will be compressed using low pressure only, an unstable bulk drug may be tableted without losing potency.
PMCID: PMC2751015  PMID: 11741271
Tableting; Trypsin; Preparation; Compression; Dissolution
19.  Optimization and In vivo Pharmacokinetic Study of a Novel Controlled Release Venlafaxine Hydrochloride Three-Layer Tablet 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2010;11(3):1026-1037.
Several matrix tablet formulations (hydrophilic-based, wax-based, and three-layer tablets) were designed for controlling the release of the highly water soluble drug, venlafaxine hydrochloride (VenHCl) for once-daily administration. The three-layer tablets consist of non-swellable, compritol-based middle layers containing the drug to which hydrophilic top and bottom barrier layers were applied. A 23 full-factorial design was employed for optimization and to explore the effect of different variables on the release rate of the drug from the three-layer tablets. The optimized levels of each independent variable were based on the criterion of desirability. The calculated values of f1 and f2 were 4.131 and 79.356, respectively; indicating that the release profile of the optimized PEO layered tablet formulation is comparable to that of the target release model. The pharmacokinetic parameters of VenHCl from the optimized three-layer tablet was compared to the marketed extended release capsule as a reference in healthy human subjects using a randomized crossover design. In this study, the 90% confidence interval for AUC0–24 and AUC0−∞ are within (0.8–1.25), which satisfied the bioequivalence criteria. It could be concluded that a promising once-daily extended-release three-layer tablet of the highly water soluble drug, VenHCl, was successfully designed.
PMCID: PMC2974138  PMID: 20532709
controlled release; factorial design; optimization; pharmacokinetic; three-layer tablet; venlafaxine
20.  Agarose Hydrogels Embedded with pH-Responsive Diblock Copolymer Micelles for Triggered Release of Substances 
Biomacromolecules  2013;14(8):2713-2723.
Hybrid agarose hydrogels embedded with pH-responsive diblock copolymers micelles were developed to achieve functional hydrogels capable of stimulus-triggered drug release. Specifically, a well-defined poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO)-based diblock copolymer, PEO-bpoly(2-(N,N-diisopropylamino)ethyl methacrylate) (PEO113-b-PDPAEMA31, where the subscripts represent the degrees of polymerization of two blocks), was synthesized by atom transfer radical polymerization. PDPAEMA is a pH-responsive polymer with a pKa value of 6.3. The PEO113-b-PDPAEMA31 micelles were formed by a solvent-switching method, and their pH-dependent dissociation behavior was investigated by dynamic light scattering and fluorescence spectroscopy. Both studies indicated that the micelles were completely disassembled at pH = 6.40.
The biocompatibility of PEO113-b-PDPAEMA31 micelles was demonstrated by in vitro primary cortical neural culture. Hybrid agarose hydrogels were made by cooling agarose solutions that contained various amounts of PEO113-b-PDPAEMA31 micelles at either 2 or 4 °C. Rheological measurements showed that the mechanical properties of gels were not significantly adversely affected by the incorporation of diblock copolymer micelles with a concentration as high as 5.0 mg/g. Using Nile Red as a model hydrophobic drug, its incorporation into the core of diblock copolymer micelles was demonstrated. Characterized by fluorescent spectroscopy, the release of Nile Red from the hybrid hydrogel was shown to be controllable by pH due to the responsiveness of the block copolymer micelles. Based on the prominent use of agarose gels as scaffolds for cell transplantation for neural repair, the hybrid hydrogels embedded with stimuli-responsive block copolymer micelles could allow the controlled delivery of hydrophobic neuroprotective agents to improve survival of transplanted cells in tune with signals from the surrounding pathological environment.
PMCID: PMC3773184  PMID: 23815070
hydrogels; agarose; block copolymers; pH responsive; micelles; neurons
21.  Formulation and Characterization of Modified Release Tablets Containing Isoniazid Using Swellable Polymers 
The aim of this work was to develop swellable modified release (MR) isoniazid tablets using different combinations of polyvinyl acetate (PVAc) and sodium-carboxymethylcellulose (Na-CMC). Granules were prepared by moist granulation technique and then compressed into tablets. In vitro release studies for 12 hr were carried out in dissolution media of varying pH i.e. pH 1.2, 4.5, 7.0 and 7.5. Tablets of all formulations were found to be of good physical quality with respect to appearance (width and thickness), content uniformity, hardness, weight variation and friability. In vitro release data showed that increasing total polymer content resulted in more retarding effect. Formulation with 35% polymer content exhibited zero order release profile and it released 35% of the drug in first hr, later on, controlled drug release was observed upto the 12th hour. Formulations with PVAc to Na-CMC ratio 20:80 exhibited zero order release pattern at levels of studied concentrations, which suggested that this combination can be used to formulate zero order release tablets of water soluble drugs like isoniazid. Korsmeyer-Peppas modeling of drug release showed that non-Fickian transport is the primary mechanism of isoniazid release from PVAc and Na-CMC based tablets. The value of mean dissolution time decreased with the increase in the release rate of drug clearly showing the retarding behavior of the swellable polymers. The application of a mixture of PVAc to Na-CMC in a specific ratio may be feasible to formulate zero order release tablets of water soluble drugs like isoniazid.
PMCID: PMC3252227  PMID: 22468003
Isoniazid; Polyvinyl acetate; Sodium-carboxymethylcellulose; Modified release tablets
22.  RETRACTED ARTICLE: Meloxicam Taste-Masked Oral Disintegrating Tablet with Dissolution Enhanced by Ion Exchange Resins and Cyclodextrin 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2013;14(3):1118-1128.
The purpose of this study was to develop taste-masked oral disintegrating tablets (ODTs) using the combination of ion exchange resin and cyclodextrin, to mask the bitter taste and enhance drug dissolution. Meloxicam (MX) was selected as a model drug with poor water solubility and a bitter taste. Formulations containing various forms of MX (free drug, MX-loaded resin or resinate, complexes of MX and 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HPβCD) or MX/HPβCD complexes, and a mixture of resinate and MX/HPβCD complexes) were made and tablets were prepared by direct compression. The ODTs were evaluated for weight variation, thickness, diameter, hardness, friability, disintegration time, wetting time, MX content, MX release, degree of bitter taste, and stability. The results showed that thickness, diameter, weight, and friability did not differ significantly for all of these formulations. The tablet hardness was approximately 3 kg/in.2, and the friability was less than 1%. Tablets formulated with resinate and the mixture of resinate and MX/HPβCD complexes disintegrated rapidly within 60 s, which is the acceptable limit for ODTs. These results corresponded to the in vivo disintegration and wetting times. However, only tablets containing the mixture of resinate and MX/HPβCD complexes provided complete MX dissolution and successfully masked the bitter taste of MX. In addition, this tablet was stable at least 6 months. The results from this study suggest that the appropriate combination of ion exchange resin and cyclodextrin could be used in ODTs to mask the bitter taste of drug and enhance the dissolution of drugs that are weakly soluble in water.
PMCID: PMC3755156  PMID: 23835739
cyclodextrin; ion exchange resins; oral disintegrating tablet; taste masking
23.  Poly(Ethylene Oxide)-Modified Poly(β-Amino Ester) Nanoparticles as a pH-Sensitive System for Tumor-Targeted Delivery of Hydrophobic Drugs: Part 2. In Vivo Distribution and Tumor Localization Studies 
Pharmaceutical research  2005;22(12):2107-2114.
This study was carried out to determine the biodistribution profiles and tumor localization potential of poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO)-modified poly (β-amino ester) (PbAE) as a novel, pH-sensitive biodegradable polymeric nanoparticulate system for tumor-targeted drug delivery.
The biodistribution studies of PEO-modified PbAE and PEO-modified poly(ɛ-caplactone) (PCL), a non-pH sensitive polymer, nanoparticle systems were carried out in normal mice using 111indiumoxine [111In] as a lipophilic radiolabel encapsulated within the polymeric matrix and the distribution of the nanoparticles was studied in plasma and all the vital organs following intravenous administration. Solid tumors were developed on nude mice using human ovarian carcinoma xenograft (SKOV-3) and the change in concentrations of tritium [3H]-labeled paclitaxel encapsulated in polymeric nanoparticles was examined in blood, tumor mass and liver.
Study in normal mice with a gamma-emitting isotope [111In] provided a thorough biodistribution analysis of the PEO-modified nanoparticulate carrier systems, while the 3H-paclitaxel was useful to understand the change in concentration and tumor localization of anticancer compound directly in major sites of distribution. Both PEO-PbAE and PEO-PCL nanoparticles showed long systemic circulating properties by virtue of surface modification with PEO-containing triblock block copolymer (Pluronic®) stabilizer. While the PCL nanoparticles showed higher uptake by the reticulo-endothelial system (RES), the PbAE nanoparticles effectively delivered the encapsulated payload into the tumor mass.
PEO-modified PbAE nanoparticles showed considerable passive tumor targeting potential in early stages of biodistribution via the enhanced permeation and retention (EPR) mechanism. This prompts a detailed biodistribution profiling of the nanocarrier for prolonged periods of time to provide conclusive evidence for superiority of the delivery system.
PMCID: PMC1350958  PMID: 16254763
biodegradable; pH-sensitive; nanoparticles; poly(β-amino ester); poly(ε-caprolactone); tumor targeting; non-compartmental pharmacokinetics
24.  Relationships between the physicochemical properties of an amphiphilic triblock copolymers/DNA complexes and their intramuscular transfection efficiency 
Nucleic Acids Research  2006;35(3):728-739.
Poly(ethyleneoxide)-poly(propyleneoxide)-poly(ethyleneoxide) triblock copolymer (PEO-PPO-PEO) based plasmid delivery systems are increasingly drawing attention in the field of nonviral gene transfer because of their proven in vivo transfection capability. They result from the simple association of DNA molecules with uncharged polymers. We examined the physicochemical properties of PEO-PPO-PEO/DNA mixtures, in which the PEO-PPO-PEO is Lutrol® (PEO75-PPO30-PEO75), formulated under various conditions. We found that interactions between PEO-PPO-PEO and DNA are mediated by the central hydrophobic block within the block copolymer. Dynamic light scattering and cryo-electron microscopy showed that the mean diameter of transfecting particles as well as their stability depended on the PEO-PPO-PEO/DNA ratio and on the ionic composition of the formulating medium. The most active formulation promoting a good tissue-distribution and an optimal transfection was characterized by a reduced electrophoretic mobility, a mean hydrodynamic diameter of ∼250–300 nm and by a conserved B-DNA form as shown by circular dichroism studies. Our study also revealed that the stability of these formulations strongly depended on a concentration balance between the DNA and the PEO-PPO-PEO, over which the DNA conformation was modified, micron-sized particles were generated, and the transgene expression was declined. We showed that the physicochemical properties of PEO-PPO-PEO/DNA formulations directly impact the level of gene expression in transfected muscles.
PMCID: PMC1807968  PMID: 17182627
25.  Liquisolid Systems to Improve the Dissolution of Furosemide 
Scientia Pharmaceutica  2010;78(2):325-344.
A liquisolid system has the ability to improve the dissolution properties of poorly water soluble drugs. Liquisolid compacts are flowing and compactable powdered forms of liquid medications. The aim of this study was to enhance the in vitro dissolution properties of the practically water insoluble loop diuretic furosemide, by utilising liquisolid technique. Several liquisolid tablets were prepared using microcrystalline cellulose (Avicel® pH-101) and fumed silica (Cab-O-Sil® M-5) as the carrier and coating materials, respectively. Polyoxy-ethylene-polyoxypropylene-polyoxyethylene block copolymer (Synperonic® PE/L 81); 1,2,3-propanetriol, homopolymer, (9Z)-9-octadecenoate (Caprol® PGE-860) and polyethylene glycol 400 (PEG 400) were used as non- volatile water-miscible liquid vehicles. The liquid loading factors for such liquid vehicles were calculated to obtain the optimum amounts of carrier and coating materials necessary to produce acceptable flowing and compactible powder admixtures viable to produce compacts. The ratio of carrier to coating material was kept constant in all formulations at 20 to 1. The formulated liquisolid tablets were evaluated for post compaction parameters such as weight variation, hardness, drug content uniformity, percentage friability and disintegration time. The in-vitro release characteristics of the drug from tablets formulated by direct compression (as reference) and liquisolid technique, were studied in two different dissolution media. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and Fourier-Transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) were performed. The results showed that all formulations exhibited higher percentage of drug dissolved in water (pH 6.4–6.6) compared to that at acidic medium (pH 1.2). Liquisolid compacts containing Synperonic® PE/L 81 demonstrated higher release rate at the different pH values. Formulations with PEG 400 displayed lower drug release rate, compared to conventional and liquisolid tablets. DSC and FT-IR indicated a possible interaction between furosemide and tablet excipients that could explain the dissolution results. Caprol® PGE-860, as a liquid vehicle, failed to produce furosemide liquisolid compacts.
PMCID: PMC3002790  PMID: 21179350
Liquisolid compacts; Furosemide; Dissolution; Friability; Synperonic® PE/L 81

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