Publication Details (including relevant citation information):
J. Pharm. Sci., 2008, 97(11), 4840-4856
Recognizing limitations with the standard method of determining whether an amorphous API-polymer mixture is miscible based on the number of glass transition temperatures (Tg) using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) measurements, we have developed an X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) method coupled with computation of pair distribution functions (PDF), to more fully assess miscibility in such systems. The mixtures chosen were: dextran-poly(vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP) and trehalose-dextran, both prepared by lyophilization; and indomethacin-PVP, prepared by evaporation from organic solvent. Immiscibility is detected when the PDF profiles of each individual component taken in proportion to their compositions in the mixture agree with the PDF of the mixture, indicating phase separation into independent amorphous phases. A lack of agreement of the PDF profiles indicates that the mixture with a unique PDF is miscible. In agreement with DSC measurements that detected two independent Tg values for the dextran-PVP mixture, the PDF profiles of the mixture matched very well indicating a phase separated system. From the PDF analysis, indomethacin-PVP was shown to be completely miscible in agreement with the single Tg value measured for the mixture. In the case of the trehalose-dextran mixture, where only one Tg value was detected, however, PDF analysis clearly revealed phase separation. Since DSC can not detect two Tg values when phase separation produces amorphous domains with sizes less than approximately 30 nm, it is concluded that the trehalose-dextran system is a phase separated mixture with a structure equivalent to a solid nanosuspension having nanosize domains. Such systems would be expected to have properties intermediate to those observed for miscible and macroscopically phase separated amorphous dispersions. However, since phase separation has occurred, the solid nanosuspensions would be expected to exhibit a greater tendency for physical instability under a given stress, that is, crystallization, than would a miscible system.