Drug development and industrial pharmacy

A new experimental design method to optimize formulations focusing on a lubricant for hydrophilic matrix tablets.

PMID 22348254


A robust experimental design method was developed with the well-established response surface methodology and time series modeling to facilitate the formulation development process with magnesium stearate incorporated into hydrophilic matrix tablets. Two directional analyses and a time-oriented model were utilized to optimize the experimental responses. Evaluations of tablet gelation and drug release were conducted with two factors x₁ and x₂: one was a formulation factor (the amount of magnesium stearate) and the other was a processing factor (mixing time), respectively. Moreover, different batch sizes (100 and 500 tablet batches) were also evaluated to investigate an effect of batch size. The selected input control factors were arranged in a mixture simplex lattice design with 13 experimental runs. The obtained optimal settings of magnesium stearate for gelation were 0.46 g, 2.76 min (mixing time) for a 100 tablet batch and 1.54 g, 6.51 min for a 500 tablet batch. The optimal settings for drug release were 0.33 g, 7.99 min for a 100 tablet batch and 1.54 g, 6.51 min for a 500 tablet batch. The exact ratio and mixing time of magnesium stearate could be formulated according to the resulting hydrophilic matrix tablet properties. The newly designed experimental method provided very useful information for characterizing significant factors and hence to obtain optimum formulations allowing for a systematic and reliable experimental design method.