Swelling and polymer erosion for poly(ethylene oxide) tablets of different molecular weights polydispersities.J Pharm Sci. 2010 Mar; 99(3):1225-38.JP
The aim of the study was to determine and compare the degree of swelling and the swelling kinetics of poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) hydrophilic matrix tablets without any additives for matrixes with different molecular weight polydispersities. A wide range of "mixed" polydisperse PEO tablets were obtained by mixing two PEO batches with average molecular weights of 10(5) and 2 x 10(6), respectively. These were compared with "single-batch" tablets with narrower mono-modal molecular weight distributions. A texture analyzer (TA) was used to determine, during the entire dissolution process, the thickness of the "gel" layer, the height of the dry tablet core and the total height of the tablet. The release of polymer from the tablet was also measured using a chromatographic method. Both the swelling histories and the polymer release rates varied strongly with molecular weight and agitation rate, whereas the rate of dissolution of the solid core varied much less with molecular weight. For single-batch and mixed tablets, tuned to give the same release rate, the swelling process was found to be very similar, regardless of the molecular polydispersity (between 1.2 and 8.8). These results support a previously proposed dissolution model with the key assumption of a constant critical viscosity, independent of time or polymer molecular weight, at the surface of the gel layer of a dissolving tablet.