Tablet disintegration performance: effect of compression pressure and storage conditions on surface liquid absorption and swelling kinetics

Daniel Markl, Natalie Maclean, James Mann, Helen Williams, Alexander Abbott, Heather Mead, Ibrahim Khadra

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The disintegration process of pharmaceutical tablets is a crucial step in the oral delivery of a drug. Tablet disintegration does not only refer to the break up of the interparticle bonds, but also relates to the liquid absorption and swelling behaviour of the tablet. This study demonstrates the use of the sessile drop method coupled with image processing and models to analyse the surface liquid absorption and swelling kinetics of four filler combinations (microcrystalline cellulose (MCC)/mannitol, MCC/lactose, MCC/dibasic calcium phosphate anhydrous (DCPA) and DCPA/lactose) with croscarmellose sodium as a disintegrant. Changes in the disintegration performance of these formulations were analysed by quantifying the effect of compression pressure and storage condition on characteristic liquid absorption and swelling parameters. The results indicate that the disintegration performance of the MCC/mannitol and MCC/lactose formulations are driven by the liquid absorption behaviour. For the MCC/DCPA formulation, both liquid absorption and swelling characteristics affect the disintegration time, whereas DCPA/lactose tablets is primarily controlled by swelling characteristics of the various excipients. The approach discussed in this study enables a rapid (< 1 min) assessment of characteristic properties that are related to tablet disintegration to inform the design of the formulation, process settings and storage conditions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 10 Feb 2021


  • disintegration
  • tablet
  • stability
  • liquid absorption
  • swelling

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