Probing The effects of Experimental Conditions on the Character of Drug-Polymer Phase Diagrams Constructed Using Flory-Huggins Theory

Conor Donnelly, Y Tian, Catherine Potter, David S. Jones, Gavin P. Andrews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Amorphous drug-polymer solid dispersions have been found to result in improved drug dissolution rates when compared to their crystalline counterparts. However, when the drug exists in the amorphous form it will possess a higher Gibb’s free energy than its associated crystalline state and can recrystallize. Drug-polymer phase diagrams constructed through the application of the Flory Huggins (F-H) theory contain a wealth of information regarding thermodynamic and kinetic stability of the amorphous drug-polymer system. This study was aimed to evaluate the effects of various experimental conditions on the solubility and miscibility detections of drug-polymer binary system. Methods: Felodipine (FD)-Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) K15 (PVPK15) and FD-Polyvinylpyrrolidone/vinyl acetate (PVP/VA64) were the selected systems for this research. Physical mixtures with different drug loadings were mixed and ball milled. These samples were then processed using Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and measurements of melting point (Tend) and glass transition (Tg) were detected using heating rates of 0.5, 1.0 and 5.0°C/min. Results: The melting point depression data was then used to calculate the F-H interaction parameter (χ) and extrapolated to lower temperatures to complete the liquid–solid transition curves. The theoretical binodal and spinodal curves were also constructed which were used to identify regions within the phase diagram. The effects of polymer selection, DSC heating rate, time above parent polymer Tg and polymer molecular weight were investigated by identifying amorphous drug miscibility limits at pharmaceutically relevant temperatures. Conclusion: The potential implications of these findings when applied to a non-ambient processing method such as Hot Melt Extrusion (HME) are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-179
Number of pages23
JournalPharmaceutical Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


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