A Novel Technique to Improve Drug Loading Capacity of Fast/Extended Release Orally Dissolving Films with Potential for Paediatric and Geriatric Drug Delivery

Gailany I. Ouda, Eman Z. Dahmash*, Hamad Alyami, Affiong Iyire

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Orally dissolving films (ODFs) have received much attention as potential oral drug delivery systems for paediatric and geriatric patients, particularly those suffering from dysphagia. With their unique properties and advantages, the technology offers improved patient compliance and wider acceptability, eliminates the fear of choking, enables ease of administration and offers dosing convenience, without the requirement of water. However, adequate drug loading remains a challenge. The aim of this study was to mechanistically design and evaluate fast and extended release ODF formulations with high drug loading capacity, displaying good physicochemical and mechanical properties, as a potential dosage form for paediatric and geriatric use employing a slightly soluble model drug—ibuprofen. Different polymers (0.6–10% HPMC, 0.6–1.5% guar gum), plasticisers (0.1–0.5% glycerine, 0.1% sorbitol) and processing conditions (40–60°C drying temperatures, 8–16 h drying times) were investigated to produce films using the solvent casting method. Molecular compatibility was assessed using TGA, XRD and FTIR whereas film topography was assessed using SEM. Maximum ibuprofen load in single films was 20.7 mg/film (54.4%) and released 100% drug content in 5 min, while triple layered ibuprofen-loaded films contained 62.2 mg/film and released 100% drug release in 1 h. The ODFs demonstrated good disintegration time using low volume artificial saliva media and high dosage from uniformity. This study provides a mechanistic insight to the design and evaluation of fast and extended release ODFs with high drug loading, suitable for administration to paediatric and geriatric patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126
JournalAAPS PharmSciTech
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2020



  • drug load
  • extended-release films
  • fast-release films
  • geriatric formulations
  • orally dissolving films
  • paediatric formulations

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