Understanding the generation and maintenance of supersaturation during the dissolution of amorphous solid dispersions using modulated DSC and 1H NMR

Shrawan Baghel, H. Cathcart, Niall O'Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, the dissolution behaviour of dipyridamole (DPM) and cinnarizine (CNZ) spray-dried amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs) using polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP) and polyacrylic acid (PAA) as a carrier matrix were evaluated and compared. The drug concentrations achieved from the dissolution of PVP and PAA solid dispersions were significantly greater than the equilibrium solubility of crystalline DPM and CNZ in phosphate buffer pH 6.8 (PBS 6.8). The maximum drug concentration achieved by dissolution of PVP and PAA solid dispersions did not exceed the theoretically calculated apparent solubility of amorphous DPM and CNZ. However, the degree of supersaturation of DPM and CNZ increased considerably as the polymer weight fraction within the solid dispersion increased. In addition, the supersaturation profile of DPM and CNZ were studied in the presence and absence of the polymers. PAA was found to maintain a higher level of supersaturation compared to PVP. The enhanced drug solution concentration following dissolution of ASDs can be attributed to the reduced crystal growth rates of DPM and CNZ at an equivalent supersaturation. We have also shown that, for drugs having high crystallization tendency and weak drug-polymer interaction, the feasible way to increase dissolution might be increase the polymer weight fraction in the ASD. Solution 1H NMR spectra were used to understand dissolution mechanism and to identify drug-polymer interaction. The change in electron densities of proton attached to different groups in DPM and CNZ suggested drug-polymer interaction in solution. The relative intensities of peak shift and nature of interaction between drug and polymer in different systems are different. These different effects suggest that DPM and CNZ interacts in a different way with PVP and PAA in solution which goes some way towards explaining the different polymeric effect, particularly in terms of inhibition of drug recrystallization and dissolution of DPM and CNZ ASDs. These results established that the different drug/polymer interactions in the solid state and in solution give rise to the variation in dissolution profile observed for different systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-425
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2018


  • Amorphous solid dispersion
  • Crystallization
  • Dissolution
  • Drug-polymer interaction
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance
  • Spray drying
  • Supersaturation


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