Understanding the impact of media viscosity on dissolution of a highly water soluble drug within a USP 2 mini vessel dissolution apparatus using an optical planar induced fluorescence (PLIF) method

Konstantinos Stamatopoulos, Hannah K. Batchelor, Federico Alberini, John Ramsay, Mark J.H. Simmons

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In this study, planar induced fluorescence (PLIF) was used for the first time to evaluate variability in drug dissolution data using Rhodamine-6G doped tablets within small volume USP 2 apparatus. The results were compared with tablets contained theophylline (THE) drug for conventional dissolution analysis. The impact of hydrodynamics, sampling point, dissolution media viscosity and pH were investigated to note effects on release of these two actives from the hydrophilic matrix tablets. As expected mixing performance was poor with complex and reduced velocities at the bottom of the vessel close to the tablet surface; this mixing became even worse as the viscosity of the fluid increased. The sampling point for dissolution can affect the results due to in-homogenous mixing within the vessel; this effect is exacerbated with higher viscosity dissolution fluids. The dissolution profiles of RH-6G measured via PLIF and THE measured using UV analysis were not statistically different demonstrating that RH-6G is an appropriate probe to mimic the release profile of a highly soluble drug. A linear correlation was accomplished between the release data of the drug and the dye (R2 > 0.9). The dissolution profile of the dye, obtained with the analysis of the PLIF images, can be used in order to evaluate how the viscosity and the mixing performance of USP 2 mini vessel affect the interpretation of the dissolution data of the targeted drug.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362-373
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2015


  • dissolution test
  • planar laser-induced fluorescence
  • Rhodamine-6G
  • texture analysis
  • Theophylline
  • USP 2 mini paddle

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