Downstream processing of a ternary amorphous solid dispersion
Downstream processing aspects of a stable form of amorphous itraconazole exhibiting enhanced dissolution properties were studied. Preparation of this ternary amorphous solid dispersion by either spray drying or hot melt extrusion led to significantly different powder processing properties. Particle size and morphology was analysed using scanning electron microscopy. Flow, compression, blending and dissolution were studied using rheometry, compaction simulation and a dissolution kit. The spray dried material exhibited poorer flow and reduced sensitivity to aeration relative to the milled extrudate. Good agreement was observed between differing forms of flow measurement, such as Flow Function, Relative flow function, Flow rate index, Aeration rate, the Hausner ratio and the Carr index. The stability index indicated that both powders were stable with respect to agglomeration, de-agglomeration and attrition. Tablet ability and compressibility studies showed that spray dried material could be compressed into stronger compacts than extruded material. Blending of the powders with low moisture, freely-flowing excipients was shown to influence both flow and compression. Porosity studies revealed that blending could influence the mechanism of densification in extrudate and blended extrudate formulations. Following blending, the powders were compressed into four 500 mg tablets, each containing a 100 mg dose of amorphous itraconazole. Dissolution studies revealed that the spray dried material released drug faster and more completely and that blending excipients could further influence the dissolution rate.