We have developed a new technique to better understand what happens to the microstructure inside a tablet during rapid disintegration.
Non-linear Optical Imaging
Non-linear optical imaging is an emerging technique for imaging drugs and dosage forms . Non-linear optical imaging may be used for non-destructive, non-contact imaging of solid drugs and dosage forms. It offers chemical and structural specificity with no requirement for labels, sub-micron spatial resolution (inherent confocal nature), rapid video-rate image acquisition, and the ability to image samples in aqueous environments in situ.
These combined features make non-linear optical imaging unique compared to existing imaging approaches in the pharmaceutical setting and make the technique well suited to a wide range of solid-state formulation and drug delivery analyses. These include imaging chemical and solid-state form distributions in dosage forms, drug release and dosage form digestion, and drug and micro/nanoparticle distribution in tissues and within live cells. While non-linear optical imaging is comparatively well established in the biomedical field, pharmaceutical applications of non-linear optical imaging are much less widely explored.
Oral films have gained interest in the last couple of years. Films for oral application offer an interesting new approach for drug administration. Active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) can be implemented in thin-sheeted polymer film matrices. These dosage forms are intended to be placed in mouth to dissolve in the saliva without the need of additional liquid and without swallowing of a solid dosage form.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
The use of MRI as a powerful imaging and characterization modality in pharmaceutical dissolution research is now well established . The non-invasive and non-destructive nature of MRI enables the investigation of structural, chemical and dynamical processes in many optically opaque systems at the microscopic level. Spatial maps of water penetration, tablet swelling and dissolution, as well as the mobilization and distribution of drug products can now be quantified and visualized [2,3]. In addition, the hydrodynamics within a USP recommended flow-through dissolution apparatus can also be visualized by MRI . Such comprehensive information is essential in pharmaceutical research for: (i) the correct interpretation of conventional drug dissolution profiles and (ii) the optimal design (QbD) of controlled release formulations.
Lipid-based drug delivery systems have become a popular approach for the delivery of poorly water-soluble drugs. The limitations associated with this formulation strategy have been the drug solubility in the delivery systems and the lack of characterization techniques predicting the in vivo performance. Solid state characterization of the in vitro digestion products has provided new insights that scrutinize current paradigms in the development of lipid-based drug delivery systems.