Special Issue "Recent Progress in Solid Dispersion Technology"

A special issue of Pharmaceutics (ISSN 1999-4923).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (19 May 2019).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Kohsaku Kawakami
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics, National Institute for Materials Science; Graduate School of Pure and Applied Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan
Interests: solid dispersion; supersaturation; molecular assemblies; poorly soluble drugs; thermal analysis; polymorphism; solubilization

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Amorphous solid dispersion (ASD) has been recognized as a powerful formulation technology to improve oral absorption of poorly soluble drugs for more than half century. Despite such a long history, novel important findings on ASD is still being reported every year. One of the great findings recently is that supersaturation created by ASDs may not be a simple solution but may involve colloidal structure. This knowledge is inevitable to design superior ASD, which can maintain supersaturated state effectively.

Another topic which is actively discussed recently to understand performance of ASD is crystallization behavior of active pharmaceutical ingredients. Solid state stability of ASD, especially the physical stability, is one of the concerns for industrial formulators when ASD is employed, as it cannot be predicted from conventional accelerated testing protocol. General understanding on crystallization of small organic compounds is of great challenge, as their dynamics is affected by both strong (covalent) and weak (noncovalent) interactions, unlike inorganic glasses.

ASDs are mainly manufactured using spray-drying (SD) and hot-melt extrusion (HME). Many requirements exist for both drugs and excipients including high solubility in organic solvents (SD), high (SD) and low (HME) glass transition temperatures, and high thermal stability (HME). Thus, development of a novel manufacturing method and excipient are also grand challenges.

This special issue welcomes any topics regarding recent progress in ASD technology as exampled above but not limited to.

Dr. Kohsaku Kawakami
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Amorphous
  • Solid dispersion
  • Poorly soluble drug
  • Supersaturation
  • Crystallization
  • Stability
  • Spray-drying
  • Hot-melt Extrusion

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Investigation of Dissolution Mechanism and Release Kinetics of Poorly Water-Soluble Tadalafil from Amorphous Solid Dispersions Prepared by Various Methods
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(8), 383; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11080383 - 02 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The aims of this study were to investigate how the release of tadalafil is influenced by two grades of polyvinylpyrrolidone (Kollidon® 12 PF and Kollidon® VA 64) and various methods of preparing solid dispersions (solvent evaporation, spray drying and hot-melt extrusion). [...] Read more.
The aims of this study were to investigate how the release of tadalafil is influenced by two grades of polyvinylpyrrolidone (Kollidon® 12 PF and Kollidon® VA 64) and various methods of preparing solid dispersions (solvent evaporation, spray drying and hot-melt extrusion). Tadalafil is poorly water-soluble and its high melting point makes it very sensitive to the solid dispersion preparation method. Therefore, the objectives were to make a comparative evaluation among different solid dispersions and to assess the effect of the physicochemical nature of solid dispersions on the drug release profile with respect to the erosion-diffusion mechanism. The solid dispersions were evaluated for dissolution profiles, XRD, SEM, FT-IR, DSC, and solubility or stability studies. It was found that tadalafil release was influenced by polymer molecular weight. Therefore, solid dispersions containing Kollidon® 12 PF showed a faster dissolution rate compared to Kollidon® VA 64. Tadalafil was released from solid dispersions containing Kollidon® 12 PF because of the combination of erosion and diffusion mechanisms. The diffusion mechanisms were predominant in the initial phase of the experiment and the slow erosion was dissolution-controlling at the second stage of the dissolution. On the contrary, the tadalafil release rate from solid dispersions containing Kollidon® VA 64 was controlled solely by the erosion mechanism. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Delivery of Poorly Soluble Drugs via Mesoporous Silica: Impact of Drug Overloading on Release and Thermal Profiles
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(6), 269; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11060269 - 10 Jun 2019
Abstract
Among the many methods available for solubility enhancement, mesoporous carriers are generating significant industrial interest. Owing to the spatial confinement of drug molecules within the mesopore network, low solubility crystalline drugs can be converted into their amorphous counterparts, which exhibit higher solubility. This [...] Read more.
Among the many methods available for solubility enhancement, mesoporous carriers are generating significant industrial interest. Owing to the spatial confinement of drug molecules within the mesopore network, low solubility crystalline drugs can be converted into their amorphous counterparts, which exhibit higher solubility. This work aims to understand the impact of drug overloading, i.e., above theoretical monolayer surface coverage, within mesoporous silica on the release behaviour and the thermal properties of loaded drugs. The study also looks at the inclusion of hypromellose acetate succinate (HPMCAS) to improve amorphisation. Various techniques including DSC, TGA, SEM, assay and dissolution were employed to investigate critical formulation factors of drug-loaded mesoporous silica prepared at drug loads of 100–300% of monolayer surface coverage, i.e., monolayer, double layer and triple layer coverage. A significant improvement in the dissolution of both Felodipine and Furosemide was obtained (96.4% and 96.2%, respectively). However, incomplete drug release was also observed at low drug load in both drugs, possibly due to a reversible adsorption to mesoporous silica. The addition of a polymeric precipitation inhibitor HPMCAS to mesoporous silica did not promote amorphisation. In fact, a partial coating of HPMCAS was observed on the exterior surface of mesoporous silica particles, which resulted in slower release for both drugs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fluoroquinolone Amorphous Polymeric Salts and Dispersions for Veterinary Uses
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(6), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11060268 - 09 Jun 2019
Abstract
Enrofloxacin (ENRO) is a poorly soluble drug used in veterinary medicine. It differs from the more widely used fluoroquinolone ciprofloxacin (CIP) by the presence of an ethyl substituent on its piperazine amino group. While a number of recent studies have examined amorphous composite [...] Read more.
Enrofloxacin (ENRO) is a poorly soluble drug used in veterinary medicine. It differs from the more widely used fluoroquinolone ciprofloxacin (CIP) by the presence of an ethyl substituent on its piperazine amino group. While a number of recent studies have examined amorphous composite formulations of CIP, little research has been conducted with ENRO in this area. Therefore, the main purpose of this work was to produce amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs) of ENRO. The solid-state properties of these samples were investigated and compared to those of the equivalent CIP ASDs, and their water uptake behavior, solubility, dissolution, and antibacterial activity were assessed. Like CIP, X-ray amorphous solid dispersions were obtained when ENRO was ball milled with acidic polymers, whereas the use of neutral polymers resulted in semi-crystalline products. Proton transfer from the carboxylic acids of the polymers to the tertiary amine of ENRO’s piperazine group appears to occur in the ASDs, resulting in an ionic bond between the two components. Therefore, these ASDs can be referred to as amorphous polymeric salts (APSs). The glass transition temperatures of the APSs were significantly higher than that of ENRO, and they were also resistant to crystallization when exposed to high humidity levels. Greater concentrations were achieved with the APSs than the pure drug during solubility and dissolution studies, and this enhancement was sustained for the duration of the experiments. In addition, the antimicrobial activity of ENRO was not affected by APS formation, while the minimum inhibitory concentrations and minimum bactericidal concentrations obtained with the APS containing hydroxypropyl methylcellulose acetate succinate grade MG (HPMCAS-MG) were significantly lower than those of the pure drug. Therefore, APS formation is one method of improving the pharmaceutical properties of this drug. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Polyelectrolytes in Hot Melt Extrusion: A Combined Solvent-Based and Interacting Additive Technique for Solid Dispersions
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040174 - 10 Apr 2019
Abstract
Solid dispersions are important supersaturating formulations to orally deliver poorly water-soluble drugs. A most important process technique is hot melt extrusion but process requirements limit the choice of suitable polymers. One way around this limitation is to synthesize new polymers. However, their disadvantage [...] Read more.
Solid dispersions are important supersaturating formulations to orally deliver poorly water-soluble drugs. A most important process technique is hot melt extrusion but process requirements limit the choice of suitable polymers. One way around this limitation is to synthesize new polymers. However, their disadvantage is that they require toxicological qualification and present regulatory hurdles for their market authorization. Therefore, this study follows an alternative approach, where new polymeric matrices are created by combining a known polymer, small molecular additives, and an initial solvent-based process step. The polyelectrolyte, carboxymethylcellulose sodium (NaCMC), was tested in combination with different additives such as amino acids, meglumine, trometamol, and urea. It was possible to obtain a new polyelectrolyte matrix that was viable for manufacturing by hot melt extrusion. The amount of additives had to be carefully tuned to obtain an amorphous polymer matrix. This was achieved by probing the matrix using several analytical techniques, such as Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, hot stage microscopy, and X-ray powder diffraction. Next, the obtained matrices had to be examined to ensure the homogeneous distribution of the components and the possible residual crystallinity. As this analysis requires probing a sample on several points and relies on high quality data, X-ray diffraction and starring techniques at a synchrotron source had to be used. Particularly promising with NaCMC was the addition of lysine as well as meglumine. Further research is needed to harness the novel matrix with drugs in amorphous formulations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Amorphous Solid Dispersion of Pharmaceutical Compound with pH-Dependent Solubility Prepared by Continuous-Spray Granulator
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040159 - 03 Apr 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
A continuous-spray granulator (CTS-SGR) is a one-step granulation technology capable of using solutions or suspensions. The present research objectives were, (1) to reduce the manufacturing operations for solid dosage formulations, (2) to make amorphous solid dispersion (ASD) granules without pre-preparation of amorphous solids [...] Read more.
A continuous-spray granulator (CTS-SGR) is a one-step granulation technology capable of using solutions or suspensions. The present research objectives were, (1) to reduce the manufacturing operations for solid dosage formulations, (2) to make amorphous solid dispersion (ASD) granules without pre-preparation of amorphous solids of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), and (3) to characterize the obtained SGR granules by comprehensive pharmaceutical analysis. Rebamipide (RBM), a biopharmaceutical classification system class IV drug, that has low solubility or permeability in the stomach, was selected as a model compound. Five kind of granules with different concentrations of polyvinylpyrrolidone/vinyl acetate copolymer (PVP-VA) were prepared using a one-step SGR process. All of the SGR granules could be produced in amorphous or ASD form and their thermodynamic stability was very high because of high glass transition temperatures (>178 °C). They were unstable in 20 °C/75%RH; however, their stability was improved according to the proportion of polymer. The carboxy group of RBM was ionized in the granules and interactions appeared between RBM and PVP-VA, with the formation of an ASD confirmed and the solubility was enhanced compared with bulk RBM crystals. The SGR methodology has the possibility of contributing to process development in the pharmaceutical industry. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Self-Assembly Phenomenon of Poloxamers and Its Effect on the Dissolution of a Poorly Soluble Drug from Solid Dispersions Obtained by Solvent Methods
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030130 - 19 Mar 2019
Abstract
The self-assembly phenomenon of amphiphiles has attracted particular attention in recent years due to its wide range of applications. The formation of nanoassemblies able to solubilize sparingly water-soluble drugs was found to be a strategy to solve the problem of poor solubility of [...] Read more.
The self-assembly phenomenon of amphiphiles has attracted particular attention in recent years due to its wide range of applications. The formation of nanoassemblies able to solubilize sparingly water-soluble drugs was found to be a strategy to solve the problem of poor solubility of active pharmaceutical ingredients. Binary and ternary solid dispersions containing Biopharmaceutics Classification System (BCS) class II drug bicalutamide and either Poloxamer®188 or Poloxamer®407 as the surface active agents were obtained by either spray drying or solvent evaporation under reduced pressure. Both processes led to morphological changes and a reduction of particle size, as confirmed by scanning electron microscopy and laser diffraction measurements. The increase in powder wettability was confirmed by means of contact angle measurements. The effect of an alteration of the crystal structure was followed by powder X-ray diffractometry while thermal properties were determined using differential scanning calorimetry. Interestingly, bicalutamide exhibited a polymorph transition after spray drying with the poloxamer and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), while the poloxamer underwent partial amorphization. Moreover, due to the surface activity of the carrier, the solid dispersions formed nanoaggregates in water, as confirmed using dynamic light scattering measurements. The aggregates measuring 200–300 nm in diameter were able to solubilize bicalutamide inside the hydrophobic inner parts. The self-assembly of binary systems was found to improve the amount of dissolved bicalutamide by 4- to 8-fold in comparison to untreated drug. The improvement in drug dissolution was correlated with the solubilization of poorly soluble molecules by macromolecules, as assessed using emission spectroscopy. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Analytical and Computational Methods for the Estimation of Drug-Polymer Solubility and Miscibility in Solid Dispersions Development
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(8), 372; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11080372 - 01 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The development of stable solid dispersion formulations that maintain desired improvement of drug dissolution rate during the entire shelf life requires the analysis of drug-polymer solubility and miscibility. Only if the drug concentration is below the solubility limit in the polymer, the physical [...] Read more.
The development of stable solid dispersion formulations that maintain desired improvement of drug dissolution rate during the entire shelf life requires the analysis of drug-polymer solubility and miscibility. Only if the drug concentration is below the solubility limit in the polymer, the physical stability of solid dispersions is guaranteed without risk for drug (re)crystallization. If the drug concentration is above the solubility, but below the miscibility limit, the system is stabilized through intimate drug-polymer mixing, with additional kinetic stabilization if stored sufficiently below the mixture glass transition temperature. Therefore, it is of particular importance to assess the drug-polymer solubility and miscibility, to select suitable formulation (a type of polymer and drug loading), manufacturing process, and storage conditions, with the aim to ensure physical stability during the product shelf life. Drug-polymer solubility and miscibility can be assessed using analytical methods, which can detect whether the system is single-phase or not. Thermodynamic modeling enables a mechanistic understanding of drug-polymer solubility and miscibility and identification of formulation compositions with the expected formation of the stable single-phase system. Advance molecular modeling and simulation techniques enable getting insight into interactions between the drug and polymer at the molecular level, which determine whether the single-phase system formation will occur or not. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Crystallization Tendency of Pharmaceutical Glasses: Relevance to Compound Properties, Impact of Formulation Process, and Implications for Design of Amorphous Solid Dispersions
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(5), 202; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11050202 - 01 May 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs) are important formulation strategies for improving the dissolution process and oral bioavailability of poorly soluble drugs. Physical stability of a candidate drug must be clearly understood to design ASDs with superior properties. The crystallization tendency of small organics is [...] Read more.
Amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs) are important formulation strategies for improving the dissolution process and oral bioavailability of poorly soluble drugs. Physical stability of a candidate drug must be clearly understood to design ASDs with superior properties. The crystallization tendency of small organics is frequently estimated by applying rapid cooling or a cooling/reheating cycle to their melt using differential scanning calorimetry. The crystallization tendency determined in this way does not directly correlate with the physical stability during isothermal storage, which is of great interest to pharmaceutical researchers. Nevertheless, it provides important insights into strategy for the formulation design and the crystallization mechanism of the drug molecules. The initiation time for isothermal crystallization can be explained using the ratio of the glass transition and storage temperatures (Tg/T). Although some formulation processes such as milling and compaction can enhance nucleation, the Tg/T ratio still works for roughly predicting the crystallization behavior. Thus, design of accelerated physical stability test may be possible for ASDs. The crystallization tendency during the formulation process and the supersaturation ability of ASDs may also be related to the crystallization tendency determined by thermal analysis. In this review, the assessment of the crystallization tendency of pharmaceutical glasses and its relevance to developmental studies of ASDs are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Overview of the Manufacturing Methods of Solid Dispersion Technology for Improving the Solubility of Poorly Water-Soluble Drugs and Application to Anticancer Drugs
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030132 - 19 Mar 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Approximately 40% of new chemical entities (NCEs), including anticancer drugs, have been reported as poorly water-soluble compounds. Anticancer drugs are classified into biologic drugs (monoclonal antibodies) and small molecule drugs (nonbiologic anticancer drugs) based on effectiveness and safety profile. Biologic drugs are administered [...] Read more.
Approximately 40% of new chemical entities (NCEs), including anticancer drugs, have been reported as poorly water-soluble compounds. Anticancer drugs are classified into biologic drugs (monoclonal antibodies) and small molecule drugs (nonbiologic anticancer drugs) based on effectiveness and safety profile. Biologic drugs are administered by intravenous (IV) injection due to their large molecular weight, while small molecule drugs are preferentially administered by gastrointestinal route. Even though IV injection is the fastest route of administration and ensures complete bioavailability, this route of administration causes patient inconvenience to visit a hospital for anticancer treatments. In addition, IV administration can cause several side effects such as severe hypersensitivity, myelosuppression, neutropenia, and neurotoxicity. Oral administration is the preferred route for drug delivery due to several advantages such as low cost, pain avoidance, and safety. The main problem of NCEs is a limited aqueous solubility, resulting in poor absorption and low bioavailability. Therefore, improving oral bioavailability of poorly water-soluble drugs is a great challenge in the development of pharmaceutical dosage forms. Several methods such as solid dispersion, complexation, lipid-based systems, micronization, nanonization, and co-crystals were developed to improve the solubility of hydrophobic drugs. Recently, solid dispersion is one of the most widely used and successful techniques in formulation development. This review mainly discusses classification, methods for preparation of solid dispersions, and use of solid dispersion for improving solubility of poorly soluble anticancer drugs. Full article
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