Purdue University Graduate School
20201204_Dissertation_Dana Moseson.pdf (9.02 MB)

Critical Quality Attributes of Hot Melt Extruded Amorphous Solid Dispersions

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posted on 2020-12-15, 20:55 authored by Dana MosesonDana Moseson
The success of an amorphous solid dispersion (ASD) formulation, consisting of a homogeneous molecular dispersion of drug and polymer, relies on its ability to create and maintain a supersaturated solution. However, supersaturated solutions are metastable and prone to crystallization. In solution, crystals are expected to serve as a template for crystal growth, depleting achieved supersaturation. Thus, in an ASD product, ideally no crystallinity should be present. However, technical challenges exist in both processing and characterization to routinely ensure this is achieved. The presented studies follow the process design, characterization, and dissolution performance of hot melt extruded amorphous solid dispersions, seeking insight into the significance of critical quality attributes of resulting extrudates, namely residual crystallinity and thermal degradation.
Selection of hot melt extrusion (HME) processing conditions to prepare ASDs is governed by thermodynamic and kinetic attributes of the drug and polymer system. Mapping the temperature-composition phase diagram to HME processing conditions provides a processing design strategy to prevent residual crystallinity while simultaneously avoiding thermal degradation. Through processing temperatures below the drug’s melting point (Tm) and above the formulation critical temperature (Tc), fully amorphous systems could be generated if sufficient kinetics were provided. The utility of thermogravimetric analysis was critically examined for prediction of the chemical stability processing window for HME formulations.
For characterization and product performance characterization, residual crystalline content in HME ASDs can be anticipated and tailored to various levels. Several HME ASDs were characterized by a range of analytical techniques, highlighting the sensitivity of available techniques to qualitatively or quantitatively detect crystalline content (depending on limitations which stem from properties of the instrument or sample). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was found to identify low levels of crystallinity not observed by other technique and provide insight into crystal dissolution mechanisms. A defect-site driven dissolution and fragmentation model was suggested, and supported by a Monte Carlo simulation, underscoring that crystal defect sites, either intrinsic to the crystals or formed during processing, expedite dissolution rates and generation of new surfaces for dissolution.
Non-sink dissolution was performed for indomethacin/PVPVA HME ASD samples with residual crystallinity ranging from 0-25% crystalline content. Due to effective crystal growth inhibition by the polymer, crystals had little impact on dissolution performance. Achieved supersaturation was reduced approximately by the level of crystallinity present, i.e. a lost solubility advantage. These studies have significance for HME processing design and risk assessment of crystallinity within ASD formulations.


U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) grant award 1U01FD005259-01

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program grant award DGE-1333468

Center for Pharmaceutical Processing Research


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Industrial and Physical Pharmacy

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Lynne S. Taylor

Additional Committee Member 2

Stephen R. Byrn

Additional Committee Member 3

Zoltan K. Nagy

Additional Committee Member 4

Qi (Tony) Zhou

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