Fast drying of biocompatible polymer films loaded with poorly water-soluble drug nano-particles via low temperature forced convection

Ramana Susarla, Lucas Sievens-Figueroa, Anagha Bhakay, Yueyang Shen, Jackeline I. Jerez-Rozo, William Engen, Boris Khusid, Ecevit Bilgili, Rodolfo J. Romañach, Kenneth R. Morris, Bozena Michniak-Kohn, Rajesh N. Davé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Fast drying of nano-drug particle laden strip-films formed using water-soluble biocompatible polymers via forced convection is investigated in order to form films having uniform drug distribution and fast dissolution. Films were produced by casting and drying a mixture of poorly water soluble griseofulvin (GF) nanosuspensions produced via media milling with aqueous hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC E15LV) solutions containing glycerin as a plasticizer. The effects of convective drying parameters, temperature and air velocity, and film-precursor viscosity on film properties were investigated. Two major drying regimes, a constant rate period as a function of the drying conditions, followed by a single slower falling rate period, were observed. Films dried in an hour or less without any irreversible aggregation of GF nanoparticles with low residual water content. Near-infrared chemical imaging (NIR-CI) and the content uniformity analysis indicated a better drug particle distribution when higher viscosity film-precursors were used. Powder X-ray diffraction showed that the GF in the films retained crystallinity and the polymorphic form. USP IV dissolution tests showed immediate release (∼20 min) of GF. Overall, the films fabricated from polymer-based suspensions at higher viscosity dried at different conditions exhibited similar mechanical properties, improved drug content uniformity, and achieved fast drug dissolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-103
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmaceutical Science


  • BCS class II drugs
  • Convective drying
  • Fast dissolution
  • Nanosuspensions
  • Pharmaceutical films


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