Thermodynamically stable amorphous drug dispersions in amorphous hydrophilic polymers engineered by hot melt extrusion.

David S. Jones, Daniel N. Margetson, Mark S. McAllister, Tao Yu, Li Shu, Colin P. McCoy, Gavin P. Andrews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


In this study thermodynamically stable dispersions of amorphous quinine, a model BCS class 2 therapeutic agent, within an amorphous polymeric platform (HPC), termed a solid-in-solid dispersion, were produced using hot melt extrusion. Characterisation of the pre-extrudates and extrudates was performed using hyper-differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) and Raman spectroscopy. Water uptake by the raw materials was determined using dynamic vapour sorption (DVS) analysis. Furthermore, the presence or absence of crystalline drug following storage at 25 °C/60% relative humidity and 40 °C/75% relative humidity in a sealed glass jar, and at 40 °C/75% relative humidity in an open glass jar for 3 months was determined using PXRD. Amorphous quinine was generated in situ during extrusion from both quinine base (5%, 10%, 20% w/w drug loading) and from quinine hydrochloride (5%, 10% w/w drug loading) and remained thermodynamically stable as a solid-in-solid dispersion within the HPC extrudates. When processed with HPC, quinine hydrochloride (20% w/w) was converted to amorphous quinine hydrochloride. Whilst stable for up to 3 months when stored under sealed conditions, this amorphous form was unstable, resulting in recrystallisation of the hydrochloride salt following storage for 1 month at 40 °C/75% relative humidity in an open glass jar. The behaviour of the amorphous quinine hydrochloride (20% w/w) HPC extrudate was related, at least in part, to the lower stability and the hygroscopic properties of this amorphous form.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3046-3054
Number of pages9
JournalChemical Engineering Research and Design
Issue number12
Early online date06 Sep 2014
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


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