Effect of preparation method on the surface properties and UV imaging of indomethacin solid dispersions

Kofi Asare-Addo, Ana-Maria Totea, Nihad Mawla, Karl Walton, Sadaf Taheri, Adam Ward, Adeola Adebisi, Maen Al Shafiee, Peter Timmins, Barbara Conway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


This work explores the use of UV imaging in solid dispersion systems. Solid dispersions are one of the common strategies used in improving the dissolution of poorly soluble drugs. Three manufacturing techniques (spray drying (SD), freeze drying (FD) and homogenising (HG)) are investigated. Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and X-Ray Powder Diffraction (XRPD) was used in characterising the solid dispersions. Advanced imaging was implemented to give an insight into how these solid dispersions performed. The DSC and XRPD results showed that all three methods and the various ratios studied produced amorphous solid dispersions. Ultra-Violet (UV) imaging of the pseudo Intrinsic Dissolution Rate (IDR) deduced only two samples to have superior pseudo IDR values to the IDR of the parent drug indomethacin (INDO). The whole dose imaging of the capsule formulation however showed all the samples (SD, FD and HG) to have superior dissolution to that of INDO which was in contrast to the IDR results. The UV images obtained from the determination of the pseudo IDR also showed a phenomenon the authors are reporting for the first time where increased polymer (Soluplus) content produced “web-like” strands that migrated to the top of the quartz cell which may have been responsible for the low pseudo IDR values. The authors also report for the first time using this UV imaging technique, the tip of a capsule coming off for drug to go into solution. The area under the curve suggested the best five samples dissolution wise to be 1:3 SD > 1:1 HG > 1:1 SD > 1:3 FD > 1:3 HG meaning a ratio of INDO to SOL in these dispersion of up to 1:3 being sufficient to produce significant dissolution increases. The developed interfacial (surface) area ratio (Sdr) highlighted how the surface area of the IDR compacts varied between the batches, in particular highlighting larger surface area gains for the FD and HG compacts. A choice of instrumentation/techniques to use in making solid dispersions may well come down to cost or instrument availability for a formulator as all three techniques were successful in improving the dissolution of indomethacin. This work thus highlights the importance of having both complimentary IDR and whole dosage imaging techniques in giving a better understanding of solid dispersion systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-163
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics
Early online date2 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


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