3 years ago

Polymorphism of Indomethacin in Semicrystalline Dispersions: Formation, Transformation, and Segregation

Polymorphism of Indomethacin in Semicrystalline Dispersions:
Formation, Transformation, and Segregation
David Lüdeker, Jan Van Humbeeck, Tu Van Duong, Thomas De Beer, Pieter-Jan Van Bockstal, Guy Van den Mooter
The crystallization of metastable crystal polymorphs in polymer matrices has been extensively reported in literature as a possible approach to enhance the solubility of poorly water-soluble drug compounds, yet no clarification of the mechanism of the polymorph formation has been proposed. The current work aims to elucidate the polymorphism behavior of the model compound indomethacin as well as the mechanism of polymorph selection of drugs in semicrystalline systems. Indomethacin crystallized as either the α- or τ-form, a new metastable form, or a mixture of the two polymorphs in dispersions containing different drug loadings in polyethylene glycol, poloxamer, or Gelucire as the result of the variation in the mobility of drug molecules. As a general rule, low molecular mobility of the amorphous drug favors the crystallization into thermodynamically stable forms whereas metastable crystalline polymorphs are preferred when the molecular mobility of the drug is sufficiently high. This rule provides insight into the polymorph selection of numerous active pharmaceutical ingredients in semicrystalline dispersions and can be used as a guide for polymorphic screening from melt crystallization by tuning the mobility of drug molecules. In addition, the drug crystallized faster while the polymer crystallized slower as the drug-loading increased with the maxima of drug crystallization rate in 70% indomethacin dispersion. Increasing the drug content in solid dispersions reduced the τ to α polymorphic transition rate, except for when the more stable form was initially dominant. The segregation of τ and α polymorphs as well as the polymorphic transformation during storage led to the inherent inhomogeneity of the semicrystalline dispersions. This study highlights and expands our understanding about the complex crystallization behavior of semicrystalline systems and is crucial for preparation of solid dispersions with reproducible and consistent physicochemical properties and pharmaceutical performance.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.7b00930

DOI: 10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.7b00930

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