Quantification of microwave-induced amorphization of celecoxib in PVP tablets using transmission Raman spectroscopy

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In this study, the influence of drug load on the microwave-induced amorphization of celecoxib (CCX) in polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) tablets was investigated using quantitative transmission Raman spectroscopy. A design of experiments (DoE) setup was applied for developing the quantitative model using two factors: drug load (10, 30, and 50% w/w) and amorphous fraction (0, 25, 50, 75 and 100%). The data was modeled using partial least-squares (PLS) regression and resulted in a robust model with a root mean-square error of prediction of 2.5%. The PLS model was used to study the amorphization kinetics of CCX-PVP tablets with different drug content (10, 20, 30, 40 and 50% w/w). For this purpose, transition Raman spectra were collected in 60 s intervals over a total microwave time of 10 min with an energy input of 1000 W. Using the quantitative model it was possible to measure the amorphous fraction of the tablets and follow the amorphization as a function of microwaving time. The relative amorphous fraction of CCX increased with increasing microwaving time and decreasing drug load, hence 90 ± 7% of the drug was amorphized in the tablets with 10% drug load whereas only 31 ± 7% of the drug was amorphized in the 50% CCX tablets. It is suggested that the degree of amorphization depends on drug loading. The likelihood of drug particles being in direct contact with the polymer PVP is a requirement for the dissolution of the drug into the polymer upon microwaving, and this is reduced with increasing drug load. This was further supported by polarized light microscopy that revealed evidence of crystalline particles and clusters in all the microwaved tablets.

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