Novel formulation strategies for the fabrication of lyophilised orally disintegrating tablets

  • A.K. Al-Husban

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Orally disintegrating Tablets (ODTs), also known as fast-disintegrating, fast-melt or fast-dissolving tablets, are a relatively novel dosage technology that involves the rapid disintegration or dissolution of the dosage form into a solution or suspension in the mouth without the need for water. The solution containing the active ingredients is swallowed, and the active ingredients are then absorbed through the gastrointestinal epithelium to reach the target and produce the desired effect. Formulation of ODTs was originally developed to address swallowing difficulties of conventional solid oral dosage forms (tablets and capsules) experienced by wide range of patient population, especially children and elderly. The current work investigates the formulation and development of ODTs prepared by freeze drying. Initial studies focused on formulation parameters that influence the manufacturing process and performance of lyophilised tablets based on excipients used in commercial products (gelatin and saccharides). The second phase of the work was followed up by comprehensive studies to address the essential need to create saccharide free ODTs using naturally accruing amino acids individually or in combinations. Furthermore, a factorial design study was carried out to investigate the feasibility of delivering multiparticulate systems of challenging drugs using a novel formulation that exploited the electrostatic associative interaction between gelatin and carrageenan. Finally, studies aimed to replace gelatin with ethically and morally accepted components to the end users were performed and the selected binder was used in factorial design studies to investigate and optimise ODT formulations that incorporated drugs with varies physicochemical properties. Our results show that formulation of elegant lyophilised ODTs with instant disintegration and adequate mechanical strength requires carful optimisation of gelatin concentration and bloom strength in addition to saccharide type and concentration. Successful formulation of saccharides free lyophilised ODTs requires amino acids that crystallise in the frozen state or display relatively high Tg', interact and integrate completely with the binder and, also, display short wetting time with the disintegrating medium. The use of an optimised mixture of gelatin, carrageenan and alanine was able to create viscous solutions to suspend multiparticulate systems and at the same time provide tablets with short disintegration times and adequate mechanical properties. On the other hand, gum arabic showed an outstanding potential for use as a binder in the formulation of lyophilised ODTs. Compared to gelatin formulations, the use of gum arabic simplified the formulation stages, shortened the freeze drying cycles and produced tablets with superior performance in terms of the disintegration time and mechanical strength. Furthermore, formulation of lyophilised ODTs based on gum arabic showed capability to deliver diverse range of drugs with advantages over commercial products.
Date of Award20 Jan 2011
Original languageEnglish


  • Dysphasia
  • gelatin
  • amino acids
  • gum arabic
  • multiparticulate system

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