A review of disintegration mechanisms and measurement techniques

Daniel Markl, J. Axel Zeitler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

186 Citations (Scopus)
140 Downloads (Pure)


Pharmaceutical solid dosage forms (tablets or capsules) are the predominant form to administer active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) to the patient. Tablets are typically powder compacts consisting of several different excipients in addition to the API. Excipients are added to a formulation in order to achieve the desired fill weight of a dosage form, to improve the processability or to affect the drug release behaviour in the body. These complex porous systems undergo different mechanisms when they come in contact with physiological fluids. The performance of a drug is primarily influenced by the disintegration and dissolution behaviour of the powder compact. The disintegration process is specifically critical for immediate-release dosage forms. Its mechanisms and the factors impacting disintegration are discussed and methods used to study the disintegration in-situ are presented. This review further summarises mathematical models used to simulate disintegration phenomena and to predict drug release kinetics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)890-917
Number of pages28
JournalPharmaceutical Research
Issue number5
Early online date1 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


  • disintegration
  • dissolution
  • in-situ monitoring
  • liquid penetration
  • modelling
  • solid dosage forms
  • swelling


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