Novel and refined small-scale approaches to determine the intrinsic dissolution rate of drugs

Sammanfattning: Many drugs are administered as crystalline particles compressed into tablets and taken orally. When the tablet reaches the gastrointestinal tract, it disintegrates and the drug particles dissolve in the gastrointestinal fluid. The dissolved molecules are absorbed across the intestinal membranes into the bloodstream to reach their target sites. Only dissolved molecules can be absorbed, and if a drug has low solubility and/or dissolution rate in gastrointestinal fluid, the drug absorption might be insufficient. Hence, knowing the solubility and dissolution behaviour of a potential drug candidate is necessary early in the drug development process. The aim of this thesis was to evaluate and refine different approaches for measuring and determining dissolution rate, as well as to develop novel in vitro small-scale dissolution methods. First, interlaboratory variability in determination of intrinsic dissolution rate (IDR) and apparent solubility (Sapp) was investigated using a miniaturized dissolution instrument. To minimize the interlaboratory variability, standardized protocols for both the experimental design and the data analyses were required, and a flow chart for performing standardized powder and disc IDR measurements was established. Next, as an alternative to the powder and disc methods, carefully dispersed suspensions were used to determine the IDR, and rapid and more controlled IDR measurements were obtained using suspensions with dispersed primary particles. From the suspension measurements, an IDR/Sapp ratio of the compounds were determined. This ratio can potentially be used to identify whether a compound is likely to show dissolution rate-limited absorption and hence is sensitive to particle size reduction. The final experiments used a single particle dissolution approach to determine the IDR at four different fluid velocities. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations were used to theoretically investigate the flow conditions and dissolution rates. Single particle dissolution measurements under well-defined conditions gave high-quality dissolution data. An IDR was determined within 5-60 minutes using particles with initial diameters of 37.5-104.6 μm. The single particle dissolution experiments were used to determine the thickness of the effective hydrodynamic boundary layer (heff). The heff values were also assessed by CFD simulations, and a good concordance between experimental and simulated heff values was obtained. The approaches presented in this thesis can be used to derive qualified knowledge about the dissolution properties of drugs with several potential applications in drug development, such as profiling of solid drugs, informed formulation decisions, assisting the modelling of drug dissolution and providing improved understanding of the in vivo-dissolution behaviour