Near-infrared spectroscopic analysis of the breaking force of extended-release matrix tablets prepared by roller-compaction: influence of plasticizer levels and sintering temperature

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The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy for the determination of the influence of sintering temperature and plasticizer levels on the breaking force of extended-release matrix tablets prepared via roller-compaction. Six formulations using theophylline as a model drug, Eudragit® RL PO or Eudragit® RS PO as a matrix former and three levels of TEC (triethyl citrate) as a plasticizer were prepared. The powder blend was roller compacted using a fixed roll-gap of 1.5 mm, feed screw speed to roller speed ratio of 5:1 and roll pressure of 4 MPa. The granules, after removing fines, were compacted into tablets on a Stokes B2 rotary tablet press at a compression force of 7 kN. The tablets were thermally treated at different temperatures (Room Temperature, 50, 75 and 100 °C) for 5 h. These tablets were scanned in reflectance mode in the wavelength range of 400–2500 nm and were evaluated for breaking force. Tablet breaking force significantly increased with increasing plasticizer levels and with increases in the sintering temperature. An increase in tablet hardness produced an upward shift (increase in absorbance) in the NIR spectra. The principle component analysis (PCA) of the spectra was able to distinguish samples with different plasticizer levels and sintering temperatures. In addition, a 9-factor partial least squares (PLS) regression model for tablets containing Eudragit® RL PO had an r2 of 0.9797, a standard error of calibration of 0.6255 and a standard error of cross validation (SECV) of 0.7594. Similar analysis of tablets containing Eudragit® RS PO showed an r2 of 0.9831, a standard error of calibration of 0.9711 and an SECV of 1.192.



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