International journal of pharmaceutics

Preparation and characterization of hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose films containing stable BCS Class II drug nanoparticles for pharmaceutical applications.

PMID 22178619


The design and feasibility of a simple process of incorporating stable nanoparticles into edible polymer films is demonstrated with the goal of enhancing the dissolution rate of poorly water soluble drugs. Nanosuspensions produced from wet stirred media milling (WSMM) were transformed into polymer films containing drug nanoparticles by mixing with a low molecular weight hydroxylpropyl methyl cellulose (HPMC E15LV) solution containing glycerin followed by film casting and drying. Three different BCS Class II drugs, naproxen (NPX), fenofibrate (FNB) and griseofulvin (GF) were studied. The influence of the drug molecule on the film properties was also investigated. It was shown that film processing methodology employed has no effect on the drug crystallinity according to X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Raman spectroscopy. Differences in aggregation behavior of APIs in films were observed through SEM and NIR chemical imaging analysis. NPX exhibited the strongest aggregation compared to the other drugs. The aggregation had a direct effect on drug content uniformity in the film. Mechanical properties of the film were also affected depending on the drug-polymer interaction. Due to strong hydrogen bonding with the polymer, NPX exhibited an increase in Young's Modulus (YM) of approximately 200%, among other mechanical properties, compared to GF films. A synergistic effect between surfactant/polymer and drug/polymer interactions in the FNB film resulted in an increase of more than 600% in YM compared to the GF film. The enhancement in drug dissolution rate of films due to the large surface area and smaller drug particle size was also demonstrated.