Reprint of “Characterisation and modelling of the thermorheological properties of pharmaceutical polymers and their blends using capillary rheometry: Implications for hot melt processing of dosage forms”☆

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Given the growing interest in thermal processing methods, this study describes the use of an advanced rheological technique, capillary rheometry, to accurately determine the thermorheological properties of two pharmaceutical polymers, Eudragit E100 (E100) and hydroxypropylcellulose JF (HPC) and their blends, both in the presence and absence of a model therapeutic agent (quinine, as the base and hydrochloride salt). Furthermore, the glass transition temperatures (Tg) of the cooled extrudates produced using capillary rheometry were characterised using Dynamic Mechanical Thermal Analysis (DMTA) thereby enabling correlations to be drawn between the information derived from capillary rheometry and the glass transition properties of the extrudates. The shear viscosities of E100 and HPC (and their blends) decreased as functions of increasing temperature and shear rates, with the shear viscosity of E100 being significantly greater than that of HPC at all temperatures and shear rates. All platforms were readily processed at shear rates relevant to extrusion (approximately 200–300 s−1) and injection moulding (approximately 900 s−1). Quinine base was observed to lower the shear viscosities of E100 and E100/HPC blends during processing and the Tg of extrudates, indicative of plasticisation at processing temperatures and when cooled (i.e. in the solid state). Quinine hydrochloride (20% w/w) increased the shear viscosities of E100 and HPC and their blends during processing and did not affect the Tg of the parent polymer. However, the shear viscosities of these systems were not prohibitive to processing at shear rates relevant to extrusion and injection moulding. As the ratio of E100:HPC increased within the polymer blends the effects of quinine base on the lowering of both shear viscosity and Tg of the polymer blends increased, reflecting the greater solubility of quinine within E100. In conclusion, this study has highlighted the importance of capillary rheometry in identifying processing conditions, polymer miscibility and plasticisation phenomena.

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