In situdetermination of the saturation solubility of nanocrystals of poorly soluble drugs for dermal application

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The aim of this study was to determine, in situ, the saturation solubility and dissolution rate of nanocrystals of three poorly water-soluble drugs for dermal application. The nanocrystals were prepared by wet bead milling. Their size could be controlled by various process parameters. The saturation solubility was measured in water or in the presence of surfactant at 32 °C with a Sirius® inForm based on in situ UV-vis spectroscopy. The saturation solubility of nanocrystals with sizes of ˜300 nm increased for each drug in comparison to non-milled drug powders, with factors of increase in the range 1.3-2.8. The tacrolimus solubility was further analyzed with excess nanocrystal amounts four and ten times higher than the drug powder solubility. The corresponding solubility increases were 2.8 and 6.6 and thus dependent on the amount of excess nanocrystals. The higher increase was due to the presence of a larger fraction of small size particles, and only crystals far below 1 μm showed supersaturation. The solubility increase for nanocrystals determined in situ was remarkably lower than the one previously reported with the use of non in situ methods. Nanomilling increased the drug dissolution rates: the highest increase was obtained with ibuprofen (rate increase ˜30).Graphical abstract

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