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Journal of pharmaceutical sciences

Novel quality by design tools for concentrated drug suspensions: surface energy profiling and the fractal concept of flocculation.


PMID 23280339

Abstract

Quality by design is an important concept, but only limited research has been invested in concentrated pharmaceutical suspensions. A need exists for novel analytical tools to thoroughly characterize the drug as well as its aggregated particle structure in suspension. This work focuses on lipid-based pharmaceutical suspensions for filling of capsules. A rheological approach, namely the fractal concept of flocculation, is introduced to the pharmaceutical field. The model drug mebeverine hydrochloride was first physicochemically analyzed. A special aim was to study the surface energy profiles using inverse gas chromatography as a critical characteristic for the suspension's rheological behavior. Suspensions were manufactured in laboratory process equipment while applying different homogenization speeds. Flow curves of the final suspensions were measured using a cone-and-plate rheometer. As a result, surface energy profiles revealed differences from one mebeverine lot to another. Different homogenization intensities greatly affected the viscosity and the Mooney model was able to predict experimental values as a function of the drug volume fraction. The fractal concept of flocculation characterized mebeverine in suspension and a slight increase of fractal dimension was noted when homogenization speed was increased. It was concluded that the introduced concepts have large potential for designing quality into concentrated pharmaceutical suspensions.

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