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Development and mechanical characterization of solvent-cast polymeric films as potential drug delivery systems to mucosal surfaces

Boateng, J.S. and Stevens, H.N.E. and Eccleston, G.M. and Auffret, A.D. and Humphrey, M.J. and Matthews, K.H., Pfizer (UK) (Funder) (2009) Development and mechanical characterization of solvent-cast polymeric films as potential drug delivery systems to mucosal surfaces. Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy, 35 (8). pp. 986-996. ISSN 0363-9045

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Solvent-cast films from three polymers, carboxymethylcellulose (CMC), sodium alginate (SA), and xanthan gum, were prepared by drying the polymeric gels in air. Three methods, (a) passive hydration, (b) vortex hydration with heating, and (c) cold hydration, were investigated to determine the most effective means of preparing gels for each of the three polymers. Different drying conditions [relative humidity - RH (6-52%) and temperature (3-45 degrees C)] were investigated to determine the effect of drying rate on the films prepared by drying the polymeric gels. The tensile properties of the CMC films were determined by stretching dumbbell-shaped films to breaking point, using a Texture Analyser. Glycerol was used as a plasticizer, and its effects on the drying rate, physical appearance, and tensile properties of the resulting films were investigated. Vortex hydration with heating was the method of choice for preparing gels of SA and CMC, and cold hydration for xanthan gels. Drying rates increased with low glycerol content, high temperature, and low relative humidity. The residual water content of the films increased with increasing glycerol content and high relative humidity and decreased at higher temperatures. Generally, temperature affected the drying rate to a greater extent than relative humidity. Glycerol significantly affected the toughness (increased) and rigidity (decreased) of CMC films. CMC films prepared at 45 degrees C and 6% RH produced suitable films at the fastest rate while films containing equal quantities of glycerol and CMC possessed an ideal balance between flexibility and rigidity.