Design, characterisation and preliminary clinical evaluation of a novel mucoadhesive topical formulation containing tetracycline for the treatment of periodontal disease

David Jones, David Woolfson, A.F. Brown, Wilson Coulter, C. McClelland, Christopher Irwin

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142 Citations (Scopus)


This study describes the formulation, characterisation and preliminary clinical evaluation of mucoadhesive, semi-solid formulations containing hydroxyethylcellulose (HEC, 1-5%, w/w), polyvinylpyrrolidine (PVP, 2 or 3%, w/w), poly carbophil (PC, 1 or 3%, w/w) and tetracycline (5%, w/w, as the hydrochloride). Each formulation was characterised in terms of drug release, hardness, compressibility, adhesiveness (using a texture analyser in texture profile analysis mode), syringeability (using a texture analyser in compression mode) and adhesion to a mucin disc (measured as a detachment force using the texture analyser in tensile mode). The release exponent for the formulations ranged from 0.78+/-0.02 to 1.27+/-0.07, indicating that drug release was non-diffusion controlled. Increasing the concentrations of each polymeric component significantly increased the time required for 10 and 30% release of the original mass of tetracycline, due to both increased viscosity and, additionally, the unique swelling properties of the formulations. Increasing concentrations of each polymeric component also increased the hardness, compressibility, adhesiveness, syringeability and mucoadhesion of the formulations. The effects on product hardness, compressibility and syringeability may be due to increased product viscosity and, hence, increased resistance to compression. Similarly, the effects of these polymers on adhesiveness/mucoadhesion highlight their mucoadhesive nature and, importantly, the effects of polymer state (particularly PC) on these properties. Thus, in formulations where the neutralisation of PC was maximally suppressed, adhesiveness and mucoadhesion were also maximal. Interestingly, statistical interactions were primarily observed between the effects of HEC and PC on drug release, mechanical and mucoadhesive properties. These were explained by the effects of HEC on the physical state of PC, namely swollen or unswollen. In the preliminary clinical evaluation, a formulation was selected that offered an appropriate balance of the above physical properties and contained 3% HEC, 3% PVP and 1% PC, in addition to tetracycline 5% (as the hydrochloride). The clinical efficacy of this (test) formulation was compared to an identical tetracycline-devoid (control) formulation in nine periodontal pockets (greater than or equal to 5 mm depth). One week following administration of the test formulation, there was a significant improvement in periodontal health as identified by reduced numbers of sub-gingival microbial pathogens. Therefore, it can be concluded that, when used in combination with mechanical plaque removal, the tetracycline-containing semi-solid systems described in this study would augment such therapy by enhancing the removal of pathogens, thus improving periodontal health. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-368
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Controlled Release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 03 Jul 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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