Molecular mobility in glassy dispersions

Mehak Mehta, Gregory B. McKenna, Raj Suryanarayanan

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Dielectric spectroscopy was used to characterize the structural relaxation in pharmaceutical dispersions containing nifedipine (NIF) and either poly(vinyl) pyrrolidone (PVP) or hydroxypropyl methylcellulose acetate succinate (HPMCAS). The shape of the dielectric response (permittivity versus log time) curve was observed to be independent of temperature. Thus, for the pure NIF as well as the dispersions, the validity of the time-temperature superposition principle was established. Furthermore, though the shape of the full dielectric response varied with polymer concentration, the regime related to the α- or structural relaxation was found to superimpose for the dispersions, though not with the response of the NIF itself. Hence, there is a limited time-temperature-concentration superposition for these systems as well. Therefore, in this polymer concentration range, calculation of long relaxation times in these glass-forming systems becomes possible. We found that strong drug-polymer hydrogen bonding interactions improved the physical stability (i.e., delayed crystallization) by reducing the molecular mobility. The strength of hydrogen bonding, structural relaxation time, and crystallization followed the order: NIF-PV P>NIF-HPMCAS>NIF. With an increase in polymer concentration, the relaxation times were longer indicating a decrease in molecular mobility. The temperature dependence of relaxation time, in other words fragility, was independent of polymer concentration. This is the first application of the superposition principle to characterize structural relaxation in glassy pharmaceutical dispersions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number204506
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 28 2016


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