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Maintenance of supersaturation II: Indomethacin crystal growth kinetics versus degree of supersaturation

Authors

  • Dhaval D. Patel,

    1. Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40506
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  • Bradley D. Anderson

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40506
    • Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40506. Telephone: +859-218-6536; Fax: +859-257-2489
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  • Dhaval D. Patel's present address is Bristol-Myers Squibb, 1 Squibb Dr, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901.

Abstract

This study compares the kinetics of crystal growth of indomethacin from supersaturated suspensions at varying degrees of supersaturation (2 ≤ S ≥ 9) in the presence of seed crystals of the γ-form of indomethacin, the lowest energy polymorph. At high S (6 ≤ S ≥ 9), the crystal growth was first order with rate coefficients (kG) that were nearly constant and consistent with the value predicted for bulk-diffusion control. At lower S (<6), kG values were significantly smaller, decreasing approximately linearly with a decrease in S. The decline in kG at low S was attributed to a prolonged period during the initial stages of crystal growth in which surface integration was rate limiting. The apparent solubility of indomethacin after crystal growth for 3 days increased by ∼1.6-fold at both low (S = 2) and high (S = 6) degrees of supersaturation suggesting that a higher energy surface layer was deposited on the γ-form seed crystals during crystal growth. When growth experiments were repeated at low S in the presence of indomethacin seed crystals isolated from a previous crystal growth experiment (i.e., seed crystals having higher energy surface), kG matched the higher values observed for bulk diffusion-controlled crystal growth. Crystal growth experiments were also conducted at S < 1.6 using a constant infusion of an indomethacin solution in the presence of γ-form seed crystals to obtain kG under conditions where deposition of a higher energy surface could not occur. At these conditions, the smaller value of kG indicative of surface integration control was again observed and the apparent solubility of indomethacin after crystal growth matched that of the γ-form. A quantitative mechanistic understanding of the crystal growth kinetics of indomethacin derived from experiments at high and low S may be useful in future studies aimed at understanding the inhibitory effects of pharmaceutical excipients on the crystal growth of poorly soluble compounds and their utility in maintaining drug supersaturation during oral absorption. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. and the American Pharmacists Association J Pharm Sci 102:1544–1553, 2013

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