Though various attempts have been made in literature to model the particle size distribution of an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) in function of the required release profile of the pharmaceutical product, so far one has not succeeded to develop a universal approach in the correlation of particle size distribution and in vitro dissolution data. In this publication, a new approach is presented on the use of particle size distribution data in the prediction of the in vitro dissolution profile of a suspension formulation. For this purpose, various theoretical experiments were done simply on paper and based on the Noyes-Whitney [A.A. Noyes, W.R. Whitney, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 19 (1897) 930-934] equation, the normalized dissolution profiles of various imaginary size distributions were calculated. For each size distribution, its weighted mean diameters were then calculated. Based on these theoretical data, a model could be developed which scientifically explains the dissolution profile of a suspension in function of its volume-weighted mean particle size (D[4, 3]). The applicability of this correlation model could experimentally be confirmed by evaluation of laser diffraction and in vitro dissolution data as they were obtained for different batches of a suspension formulation. This new approach in the correlation between particle size and dissolution may be an important analytical tool in the engineering of the particle size distribution of drug substance, and more precisely monitoring the D[4, 3] volume-weighted mean diameter may allow one to model the dissolution profile of a suspension formulation and thereby its in vivo release profile. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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