Orodispersible films (ODFs) are more convenient for paediatric and geriatric patients to take as compared to conventional tablets and capsules. Electrospinning has recently been attempted to produce ODFs. This study investigated the feasibility of formulating poorly water-soluble drug into ODFs using electrospinning technology coupled with the anti-solvent precipitation method. Piroxicam (PX), a poorly water-soluble drug, was chosen as a model drug. Polyvinyl alcohol and polyvinylpyrrolidone were used as film forming polymers. PX microcrystals were prepared using poloxamer as the stabilizer with the anti-solvent precipitation method, and then loaded in ODFs through the electrospinning process. The obtained ODFs were characterized using a scanning electron microscope, X-ray powder diffraction and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy with respect to the morphology, solid state and potential molecular interaction between the model drug and polymers. The mechanical property, disintegration and dissolution rate of the obtained ODF were evaluated using dynamic mechanical analysis, a customized method and USP2 apparatus. The results showed that PX microcrystals suspended in polymeric solutions could be readily electrospun into fibrous films, where the microcrystals scattered between the fibers. The electrospun fibrous film-based ODFs exhibited satisfactory mechanical behaviour, and fast disintegration upon the polymer selection. In the dissolution tests, almost 90% of PX was dissolved within 6 min from the ODFs, whereas 40% of PX dissolved from physical mixtures in 60 min. This study demonstrated that poorly water-soluble drugs could be formulated into ODFs with satisfactory quality attributes by combining micronization and the electrospinning process.
- Anti-solvent precipitation
- Orodispersible films