Recent studies have demonstrated polymer films to be a promising platform for delivery of poorly water-soluble drug particles. However, the impact of critical material attributes, for example plasticizer, on the properties of and drug release from such films has yet to be investigated. In response, this study focuses on the impact of plasticizer and plasticizer concentration on properties and dissolution rate of polymer films loaded with poorly water-soluble drug nanoparticles. Glycerin, triacetin, and polyethylene glycol were selected as film plasticizers. Griseofulvin was used as a model Biopharmaceutics Classification System class II drug and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose was used as a film-forming polymer. Griseofulvin nanoparticles were prepared via wet stirred media milling in aqueous suspension. A depression in film glass transition temperature was observed with increasing plasticizer concentration, along with a decrease in film tensile strength and an increase in film elongation, as is typical of plasticizers. However, the type and amount of plasticizer necessary to produce strong yet flexible films had no significant impact on the dissolution rate of the films, suggesting that film mechanical properties can be effectively manipulated with minimal impact on drug release. Griseofulvin nanoparticles were successfully recovered upon redispersion in water regardless of plasticizer or content, even after up to 6 months' storage at 40 °C and 75% relative humidity, which contributed to similar consistency in dissolution rate after 6 months' storage for all films. Good content uniformity (< 4% R.S.D. for very small film sample size) was also maintained across all film formulations.
Krull, S. M., Patel, H. V., Li, M., Bilgili, E., & Davé, R. N. (2016). Critical material attributes (CMAs) of strip films loaded with poorly water-soluble drug nanoparticles: I. Impact of plasticizer on film properties and dissolution. European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 92, 146–155. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejps.2016.07.005