The subject of our research is the optimization of direct compression (DC), controlled release drug matrices comprising chitosan/xanthan gum. The foregoing is considered from two main perspectives; the use of low molecular weight chitosan (LCS) with xanthan gum (XG) and the determination of important attributes for direct compression of the mixtures of the two polymers. Powder flow, deformation behaviour, and work of compression parameters were used to characterize powder and tableting properties. Compression pressure and LCS content within the matrix were investigated for their influence on the crushing strength of the tablets produced. Response surface methodology (RSM) was applied to determine the optimum parameters required for DC of the matrices investigated. Results confirm the positive contribution of LCS in enhancing powder compressibility and crushing strength of the resultant compacts. Compactibility of the XG/LCS mixtures was found to be more sensitive to applied compression pressure than LCS content. LCS can be added at concentrations as low as 15% w
to achieve hard compacts, as indicated by the RSM results. The introduction of the plasticity factor, using LCS, to the fragmenting material XG was the main reason for the high volume reduction and reduced porosity of the polymer mixture. Combinations of XG with other commonly utilized polymers in controlled release studies such as glucosamine, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), Na alginate (ALG), guar gum, lactose and high molecular weight (HMW) chitosan were also used; all the foregoing polymers failed to reduce the matrix porosity beyond a certain compression pressure. Application of the LCS/XG mixture, at its optimum composition, for the controlled release of two model drugs (metoprolol succinate and dyphylline) was examined. The XG/LCS matrix at 15% w
LCS content was found to control the release of metoprolol succinate and dyphylline. The former preparation confirmed the strong influence of compression pressure on changing the drug release profile. The latter preparation showed the ability of XG/LCS to extend the drug release at a fixed rate for 12 h of dissolution time after which the release became slightly slower.
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