• Liqui-pellet: the emerging next-generation oral dosage form which stems from liquisolid concept in combination with pelletization technology

      Lam, Matthew; Ghafourian, Taravat; Nokhodchi, Ali (Springer New York LLC, 2019-06-24)
      In spite of the major advantages that the liquisolid technology offers, particularly in tackling poor bioavailability of poorly water-soluble drugs (i.e., BCS Class II drugs), there are a few critical drawbacks. The inability of a high liquid load factor, poor flowability, poor compactibility, and an inability to produce a high dose dosage form of a reasonable size for swallowing are major hurdles, hampering this technology from being commercially feasible. An attempt was therefore made to overcome these drawbacks whilst maintaining the liquisolid inherent advantages. This resulted in the emerging next generation of oral dosage forms called the liqui-pellet. All formulations were incorporated into capsules as the final product. Solubility studies of naproxen were conducted in different liquid vehicles, namely polyethylene glycol 200, propylene glycol, Tween 80, Labrafil, Labrasol, and Kolliphor EL. The scanning electron microscopy studies indicated that the liquid vehicle tends to reduce the surface roughness of the pellet. X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) indicated no significant differences in the crystalline structure or amorphous content between the physical mixture and the liqui-pellet formulation. This was due to the presence of a high concentration of amorphous Avicel in the formulation which overshadowed the crystalline structure of naproxen in the physical mixtures. Flowability and dissolution tests confirmed that this next-generation oral dosage form has excellent flowability, whilst maintaining the typical liquisolid enhanced drug release performance in comparison to its physical mixture counterpart. The liqui-pellet also had a high liquid load factor of 1, where ~ 29% of the total mass was the liquid vehicle. This shows that a high liquid load factor can be achieved in a liqui-pellet without compromising flowability. Overall, the results showed that the poor flowability of a liquisolid formulation could be overcomed with the liqui-pellet, which is believed to be a major advancement into the commercial feasibility of the liquisolid concept.
    • Optimising the release rate of naproxen liqui-pellet: a new technology for emerging novel oral dosage form

      Lam, Matthew; Ghafourian, Taravat; Nokhodchi, Ali; (Springer, 2019-07-08)
      Liqui-pellet is a new dosage form stemming from pelletisation technology and concept from liquisolid technology. In spite of liqui-pellet overcoming a major hurdle in liquisolid technology through achieving excellent flow property with high liquid load factor, the formulation requires to be optimised in order to improve drug release rate. Liqui-pellets of naproxen containing Tween 80, Primojel, Avicel and Aerosil were extruded and spheronised. Flowability test confirmed that all liqui-pellet formulations have excellent-good flow property (Carr’s index between 3.9–11.17%), including liqui-pellets with a high liquid load factor of 1.52, where 38% of the total mass is co-solvent. This shows a relatively high liquid load factor can be achieved in liqui-pellet without compromising the flowability, which is one of the key novelty of this work. It was found that the improved drug release rate was due to the remarkably improved disintegration of the supposedly non-disintegrating microcrystalline-based pellet; the optimised liqui-pellet seems to explode into fragments in the dissolution medium. At pH 1.2, the optimised formulation had ~ 10% more drug release than non-optimised formulation after 2 h, and at pH 7.4, the drug release of the optimised pellet was nearing 100% at ~ 15 min, whereas the none-optimised pellet only achieved ~ 79% drug release after 2 h. DSC and XRPD indicated an increase in the dissolution rate could be due to molecularly dispersion of naproxen in the pellets. Overall results showed that liqui-pellet exhibited an enhanced drug release and the capacity for high liquid load factor whilst maintaining excellent flowability, rendering it a potentially commercially feasible drug delivery system.