In vitroquantitative 1H and 19F nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging studies of fluvastatin™ in Lescol® XL tablets in a USP-IV dissolution cell

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Swellable polymeric matrices are key systems in the controlled drug release area. Currently, the vast majority of research is still focused on polymer swelling dynamics. This study represents the first quantitative multi-nuclear (1H and 19F) fast magnetic resonance imaging study of the complete dissolution process of a commercial (Lescol® XL) tablet, whose formulation is based on the hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) polymer under in vitro conditions in a standard USP-IV (United States Pharmacopeia apparatus IV) flow-through cell that is incorporated into high field superconducting magnetic resonance spectrometer. Quantitative RARE 1H magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and 19F nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and imaging methods have been used to give information on: (i) dissolution media uptake and hydrodynamics; (ii) active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) mobilisation and dissolution; (iii) matrix swelling and dissolution and (iv) media activity within the swelling matrix. In order to better reflect the in vivo conditions, the bio-relevant media Simulated Gastric Fluid (SGF) and Fasted State Simulated Intestinal Fluid (FaSSIF) were used. A newly developed quantitative ultra-fast MRI technique was applied and the results clearly show the transport dynamics of media penetration and hydrodynamics along with the polymer swelling processes. The drug dissolution and mobility inside the gel matrix was characterised, in parallel to the 1H measurements, by 19F NMR spectroscopy and MRI, and the drug release profile in the bulk solution was recorded offline by UV spectrometer. We found that NMR spectroscopy and 1D-MRI can be uniquely used to monitor the drug dissolution/mobilisation process within the gel layer, and the results from 19F NMR spectra indicate that in the gel layer, the physical mobility of the drug changes from “dissolved immobilised drug” to “dissolved mobilised drug”.Graphical abstract

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