Mathematical model to analyze the dissolution behavior of metastable crystals or amorphous drug accompanied with a solid-liquid interface reaction
Metastable crystals and the amorphous state of poorly water-soluble drugs in solid dispersions (SDs), are subject to a solid-liquid interface reaction upon exposure to a solvent. The dissolution behavior during the solid-liquid interface reaction often shows that the concentration of drugs is supersaturated, with a high initial drug concentration compared with the solubility of stable crystals but finally approaching the latter solubility with time. However, a method for measuring the precipitation rate of stable crystals and/or the potential solubility of metastable crystals or amorphous drugs has not been established. In this study, a novel mathematical model that can represent the dissolution behavior of the solid-liquid interface reaction for metastable crystals or amorphous drug was developed and its validity was evaluated. The theory for this model was based on the Noyes-Whitney equation and assumes that the precipitation of stable crystals at the solid-liquid interface occurs through a first-order reaction. Moreover, two models were developed, one assuming that the surface area of the drug remains constant because of the presence of excess drug in the bulk and the other that the surface area changes in time-dependency because of agglomeration of the drug. SDs of Ibuprofen (IB)/polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) were prepared and their dissolution behaviors under non-sink conditions were fitted by the models to evaluate improvements in solubility. The model assuming time-dependent surface area showed good agreement with experimental values. Furthermore, by applying the model to the dissolution profile, parameters such as the precipitation rate and the potential solubility of the amorphous drug were successfully calculated. In addition, it was shown that the improvement in solubility with supersaturation was able to be evaluated quantitatively using this model. Therefore, this mathematical model would be a useful tool to quantitatively determine the supersaturation concentration of a metastable drug from solid dispersions.