Authors: Martin Meere, Giuseppe Pontrelli, Sean McGinty
Journal: Acta biomaterialia, 2019, 94: 410-424.
Abstract: Much work has been devoted to analysing thermodynamic models for solid dispersions with a view to identifying regions in the phase diagram where amorphous phase separation or drug recrystallization can occur. However, detailed partial differential equation non-equilibrium models that track the evolution of solid dispersions in time and space are lacking. Hence theoretical predictions for the timescale over which phase separation occurs in a solid dispersion are not available. In this paper, we address some of these deficiencies by (i) constructing a general multicomponent diffusion model for a dissolving solid dispersion; (ii) specializing the model to a binary drug/polymer system in storage; (iii) deriving an effective concentration dependent drug diffusion coefficient for the binary system, thereby obtaining a theoretical prediction for the timescale over which phase separation occurs; (iv) calculating the phase diagram for the Felodipine/HPMCAS system; and (iv) presenting a detailed numerical investigation of the Felodipine/HPMCAS system assuming a Flory-Huggins activity coefficient. The numerical simulations exhibit numerous interesting phenomena, such as the formation of polymer droplets and strings, Ostwald ripening/coarsening, phase inversion, and droplet-to-string transitions. A numerical simulation of the fabrication process for a solid dispersion in a hot melt extruder is also presented.