Spray-dried cellulose nanofibers as novel tablet excipient

Ruzica Kolakovic, Leena Peltonen, Timo Laaksonen, Kaisa Putkisto, Antti Laukkanen, Jouni Hirvonen
AAPS PharmSciTech 2011, 12 (4): 1366-73
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the potential of cellulose nanofibers (also referred as microfibrillated cellulose, nanocellulose, nanofibrillated, or nanofibrillar cellulose) as novel tabletting material. For this purpose, physical and mechanical properties of spray-dried cellulose nanofibers (CNF) were examined, and results were compared to those of two commercial grades of microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), Avicel PH101 and Avicel PH102, which are the most commonly and widely used direct compression excipients. Chemically, MCC and CNF are almost identical, but their physical characteristics, like mechanical properties and surface-to-volume ratio, differ remarkably. The novel material was characterized with respect to bulk and tapped as well as true density, moisture content, and flow properties. Tablets made of CNF powder and its mixtures with MCC with or without paracetamol as model compound were produced by direct compression and after wet granulation. The tensile strength of the tablets made in a series of applied pressures was determined, and yield pressure values were calculated from the measurements. With CNF, both wet granulation and direct compression were successful. During tablet compression, CNF particles were less prone to permanent deformation and had less pronounced ductile characteristics. Disintegration and dissolution studies showed slightly faster drug release from direct compression tablets with CNF, while wet granulated systems did not have any significant difference.

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