Solution-state polymer assemblies influence BCS class II drug dissolution and supersaturation maintenance

Molly C. Dalsin, Swapnil Tale, Theresa M. Reineke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Spray dried dispersions (SDDs), solid dispersions of polymer excipients and active pharmaceuticals, are important to the field of oral drug delivery for improving active stability, bioavailability, and efficacy. Herein, we examine the influence of solution-state polymer assemblies on amorphous spray-dried dispersion (SDD) performance with two BCS II model drugs, phenytoin and probucol. These drugs were spray dried with 4 model polymer excipients consisting of poly(ethylene-alt-propylene) (PEP), N,N,-dimethylacrylamide (DMA), or 2-methacrylamido glucopyranose (MAG): amphiphilic diblock ter- and copolymers, PEP-P(DMA-grad-MAG) and PEP-PDMA, and their respective hydrophilic analogues, P(DMA-grad-MAG) and PDMA. Selective and nonselective solvents for the hydrophilic block of the diblock ter- and copolymers were used to induce or repress solution-state assemblies prior to spray drying. Prespray dried solution-state assemblies of these four polymers were probed with dynamic light scattering (DLS) and showed differences in solution assembly size and structure (free polymer versus aggregates versus micelles). Solid-state structures of spray dried dispersions (SDDs) showed a single glass transition event implying a homogeneous mixture of drug/polymer. Crystallization temperatures and enthalpies indicated that the drugs interact mostly with the DMA-containing portions of the polymers. Scanning electron microscopy was used to determine SDD particle size and morphology for the various polymer-drug pairings. In vitro dissolution tests showed excellent performance for one system, spraydried PEP-PDMA micelles with probucol. Dissolution structures were investigated through DLS to determine drug-polymer aggregates that lead to enhanced SDD performance. Forced aggregation of the polymer into regular micelle structures was found to be a critical factor to increase the dissolution rate and supersaturation maintenance of SDDs, and may be an attractive platform to exploit in excipient design for oral drug delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)500-511
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 10 2014


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