Direct Measurement of Lateral Molecular Diffusivity on the Surface of Supersaturated Amorphous Solid Dispersions by Atomic Force Microscopy

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Quantifying molecular surface diffusivity is of broad interest in many different fields of science and technology. In this study, the method of surface grating decay is utilized to investigate the surface diffusion of practical relevant amorphous solid dispersions of indomethacin and the polymeric excipient Soluplus (a polyvinyl caprolactam-polyvinyl acetate-polyethylene glycol graft copolymer) at various polymer concentrations (1 20% w/w). The study confirms that measuring surface diffusivity below the system's glass transition temperature is possible with a simplified atomic force microscopy setup. Results highlight a striking polymer influence on the surface diffusivity of drug molecules at low polymer concentrations and a turnover point to a polymer dominated diffusion at around three percent (w/w) polymer concentration. The surface diffusion measurements further correlate well with the observed increase in physical stability of the system as measured by X-ray powder diffraction. These findings are of vital interest in both the applied use and fundamental understanding of amorphous solid dispersions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular Pharmaceutics
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1715-1722
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • surface mobility, amorphous solid dispersion (ASD), atomic force microscopy (AFM), molecular surface diffusivity, indomethacin, soluplus, grating decay, GLASS-TRANSITION TEMPERATURE, PHYSICAL STABILITY, SELF-DIFFUSION, O-TERPHENYL, INDOMETHACIN, CRYSTALLIZATION, SOLUBILITY, BEHAVIOR, STATE, POLY(VINYLPYRROLIDONE)

ID: 246318464