Simulated, biorelevant, clinically relevant or physiologically relevant dissolution media: The hidden role of bicarbonate buffer.Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2019 Sep; 142:8-19.EJ
In-vitro dissolution testing of pharmaceutical formulations has been used as a quality control test for many years. At early drug product development, in vivo predictive dissolution testing can be used for guidance in the rational selection of candidate formulations that best fit the desired in vivo dissolution characteristics. At present, the most widely applied dissolution media are phosphate-based buffers and, in some cases, the result of dissolution tests performed in such media have demonstrated reasonable/acceptable IVIVCs. However, the presence of phosphates in human GI luminal fluids is insignificant, which makes the use of such media poorly representative of the in vivo environment. The gastrointestinal lumen has long been shown to be buffered by bicarbonate. Hence, much interest in the development of suitable biorelevant in vitro dissolution media based on bicarbonate buffer systems has evolved. However, there are inherent difficulties associated with these buffers, such as maintaining the pH throughout the dissolution test, as CO2 tends to leave the system. Various mathematical models have been proposed to analyze bicarbonate buffers and they are discussed in this review. Approaches such as using simpler buffer systems instead of bicarbonate have been proposed as surrogate buffers to produce an equivalent buffer effect on drug dissolution on a case-by-case basis. There are many drawbacks related to simpler buffers systems including their poor in vivo predictability. Considerable discrepancies between phosphate and bicarbonate buffer dissolution results have been reported for certain dosage forms, e.g. enteric coated formulations. The role and need of bicarbonate-based buffers in quality control testing requires scientific analysis. This review also encompasses on the use of bicarbonate-based buffers as a potentially in vivo predictive dissolution medium for enteric coated dosage forms.