Excipient characterization and particle engineering to develop directly compressed orally disintegrating tablets

  • Ali Al-Khattawi

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


ODTs have emerged as a novel oral dosage form with a potential to deliver a wide range of drug candidates to paediatric and geriatric patients. Compression of excipients offers a costeffective and translatable methodology for the manufacture of ODTs. Though, technical challenges prevail such as difficulty to achieve suitable tablet mechanical strength while ensuring rapid disintegration in the mouth, poor compressibility of preferred ODT diluent Dmannitol, and limited use for modified drug-release. The work investigates excipients’ functionality in ODTs and proposes new methodologies for enhancing material characteristics via process and particle engineering. It also aims to expand ODT applications for modified drug-release. Preformulation and formulation studies employed a plethora of techniques/tests including AFM, SEM, DSC, XRD, TGA, HSM, FTIR, hardness, disintegration time, friability, stress/strain and Heckel analysis. Tableting of D-mannitol and cellulosic excipients utilised various compression forces, material concentrations and grades. Engineered D-mannitol particles were made by spray drying mannitol with pore former NH4HCO3. Coated microparticles of model API omeprazole were prepared using water-based film forming polymers. The results of nanoscopic investigations elucidated the compression profiles of ODT excipients. Strong densification of MCC (Py is 625 MPa) occurs due to conglomeration of physicomechanical factors whereas D-mannitol fragments under pressure leading to poor compacts. Addition of cellulosic excipients (L-HPC and HPMC) and granular mannitol to powder mannitol was required to mechanically strengthen the dosage form (hardness >60 N, friability <1%) and to maintain rapid disintegration (<30 sec). Similarly, functionality was integrated into D-mannitol by fabrication of porous, yet, resilient particles which resulted in upto 150% increase in the hardness of compacts. The formulated particles provided resistance to fracture under pressure due to inherent elasticity while promoted tablet disintegration (50-77% reduction in disintegration time) due to porous nature. Additionally, coated microparticles provided an ODT-appropriate modified-release coating strategy by preventing drug (omeprazole) release.
Date of Award30 Jan 2015
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorAfzal-Ur-Rahman Mohammed (Supervisor) & Yvonne Perrie (Supervisor)


  • mannitol
  • tablet
  • functionality
  • compressibility
  • modified-release

Cite this