Effect of Compression on the Molecular Arrangement of Itraconazole-Soluplus Solid Dispersions: Induction of Liquid Crystals or Exacerbation of Phase Separation?Mol Pharm. 2016 06 06; 13(6):1879-93.MP
Predensification and compression are unit operations imperative to the manufacture of tablets and capsules. Such stress-inducing steps can cause destabilization of solid dispersions which can alter their molecular arrangement and ultimately affect dissolution rate and bioavailability. In this study, itraconazole-Soluplus solid dispersions with 50% (w/w) drug loading prepared by hot-melt extrusion (HME) were investigated. Compression was performed at both pharmaceutically relevant and extreme compression pressures and dwell times. The starting materials, powder, and compressed solid dispersions were analyzed using modulated differential scanning calorimetry (MDSC), X-ray diffraction (XRD), small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering (SWAXS), attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), and broadband dielectric spectroscopy (BDS). MDSC analysis revealed that compression promotes phase separation of solid dispersions as indicated by an increase in glass transition width, occurrence of a peak in the nonreversing heat flow signal, and an increase in the net heat of fusion indicating crystallinity in the systems. SWAXS analysis ruled out the presence of mesophases. BDS measurements elucidated an increase in the Soluplus-rich regions of the solid dispersion upon compression. FTIR indicated changes in the spatiotemporal architecture of the solid dispersions mediated via disruption in hydrogen bonding and ultimately altered dynamics. These changes can have significant consequences on the final stability and performance of the solid dispersions.