High speed electrospinning (HSES), compatible with pharmaceutical industry, was used to demonstrate the viability of the preparation of drug-loaded polymer nanofibers with radically higher productivity than the known single-needle electrospinning (SNES) setup. Poorly water-soluble itraconazole (ITRA) was formulated with PVPVA64 matrix polymer using four different solvent-based methods such as HSES, SNES, spray drying (SD) and film casting (FC). The formulations were assessed in terms of improvement in the dissolution rate of ITRA (using a "tapped basket" dissolution configuration) and analysed by SEM, DSC and XRPD. Despite the significantly increased productivity of HSES, the obtained morphology was very similar to the SNES nanofibrous material. ITRA transformed into an amorphous form, according to the DSC and XRPD results, in most cases except the FC samples. The limited dissolution of crystalline ITRA could be highly improved: fast dissolution occurred (>90% within 10min) in the cases of both (the scaled-up and the single-needle) types of electrospun fibers, while the improvement in the dissolution rate of the spray-dried microspheres was significantly lower. Production of amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs) with the HSES system proved to be flexibly scalable and easy to integrate into a continuous pharmaceutical manufacturing line, which opens new routes for the development of industrially relevant nanopharmaceuticals.
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