Author(s): Ferrero C, MuozRuiz A, JimnezCastellanos MR
The purpose of this study was to modify the fronts movement method proposed by Colombo et al. in order to apply it to uncoloured drugs and hydrophilic non-swellable matrices. Matrix tablets were prepared using theophylline as a model drug and sodium carboxymethylcellulose (NaCMC) or a new graft copolymer, hydroxypropylcellulose methylmethacrylate dried by lyophilization (HCMMAL), as polymer carriers. Drug release experiments were performed from the whole tablets. Radial drug release and fronts movement were also evaluated using special devices consisting of two Plexiglass(R) discs joined by means of four stainless steel screws. Release kinetics were determined by means of Higuchi, Korsmeyer and Peppas equations and were related to the fronts movement data. The analysis of drug release and fronts movement kinetics revealed a different release mechanism for both matrices. Drug release from NaCMC matrices was mostly controlled by relaxation, whereas drug diffusion through the porous network regulated drug release from HCMMAL matrices. A reduction in the surface exposed to the dissolution medium led to a decrease in the drug release rate, but the release mechanism was not essentially modified. Fronts movement was shown as a useful tool for matrix release mechanism elucidation. A new denomination for the different fronts observed in HCMMAL matrices was proposed.