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Hasa D.,University of Trieste | Perissutti B.,University of Trieste | Grassi M.,University of Trieste | Zacchigna M.,University of Trieste | And 4 more authors.
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics

The aim of this research was to prepare helical and cylindrical extrudates by melt extrusion and to evaluate their potential as sustained release dosage form. The systems contained theophylline as water-soluble model drug and microcrystalline wax as thermoplastic binder. The temperature suitable to ensure a successful extrusion process of formulations containing the wax in three different percentages was found to be below the melting point of the excipient. After the production of the extrudates in three different helical shapes (having 2, 3 and 4 blades) and a classical cylindrical shape, the systems were studied by means of X-ray powder diffraction and differential scanning calorimetry to check possible variations of the solid state of the drug during the thermal process. The morphology and chemical composition of the surface of the extrudates were examined by Scanning Electron Microscopy/Energy Dispersive X-ray Microanalysis to evaluate the presence of the drug on the surface of the extrudates and to monitor changes on the aspect of the waxy matrix during dissolution. Then, the different systems were analysed from the in vitro dissolution point of view to study the influence of the shape and of the composition on the drug release. An in vivo pilot study on the best performing system (helix with 3 blades) was carried out on five healthy volunteers and monitoring the intestinal transit by X-ray images. The resulting plasma profiles were analysed by means of a suitable pharmacokinetic analysis. Finally, an ad hoc mathematical model was developed to perform an accurate description of the in vitro release and in vivo performance of the 3-blades helical system. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

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