A systematic and mechanistic evaluation of aspartic acid as filler for directly compressed tablets containing trimethoprim and trimethoprim aspartate

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The generally accepted paradigm of 'inert' and 'mono functional' excipient in dosage form has been recently challenged with the development of individual excipients capable of exhibiting multiple functions (e.g. binder-disintegrants, surfactant which affect P-gp function). The proposed study has been designed within the realm of multifunctionality and is the first and novel investigation towards evaluation of aspartic acid as a filler and disintegration enhancing agent for the delivery of biopharmaceutical class IV model drug trimethoprim. The study investigated powder characteristics using angle of repose, laser diffractometry and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The prepared tablets were characterised using Heckel analysis, disintegration time and tensile strength measurements. Although Heckel analysis revealed that both TMP and TMP aspartate salt have high elasticity, the salt form produced a stronger compact which was attributed to the formation of agglomerates. Aspartic acid was found to have high plasticity, but its incorporation into the formulations was found to have a negative impact on the compaction properties of TMP and its salt. Surface morphology investigations showed that mechanical interlocking plays a vital role in binding TMP crystals together during compaction, while the small particle size of TMP aspartate agglomerates was found to have significant impact on the tensile strength of the tablets. The study concluded that aspartic acid can be employed as filler and disintegrant and that compactability within tablets was independent of the surface charge of the excipients.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-476
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics
Issue number3
Early online date1 Dec 2012
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


  • trimethoprim, aspartic acid, binary mixtures, compactability, tabletability

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