Pharmaceutical Research

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 306–314

Understanding and Predicting Drug Delivery from Hydrophilic Matrix Tablets Using the “Sequential Layer” Model


DOI: 10.1023/A:1014447102710

Cite this article as:
Siepmann, J., Streubel, A. & Peppas, N.A. Pharm Res (2002) 19: 306. doi:10.1023/A:1014447102710


Purpose. The objectives of this work were (i) to study and understand the physicochemical phenomena which are involved in the swelling and drug release from hydrophilic matrix tablets using the “sequential layer” model; and (ii) to predict the effect of the initial radius, height and size of the tablets on the resulting drug release profiles.

Methods. Tablets were prepared by direct compression, using hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) grades with different average molecular weights as matrix-forming polymers. The in vitro release of chlorpheniramine maleate, propranolol HCl, acetaminophen, theophylline and diclofenac sodium was studied in phosphate buffer (pH 7.4) and 0.1 M HCl, respectively. The initial drug loading varied from 1 to 70%, while the radius and height of the tablets varied from 1 to 8 mm.

Results. The “sequential layer” model considers water and drug diffusion with non-constant diffusivities and moving boundary conditions, non-homogeneous polymer swelling, drug dissolution, and polymer dissolution. We showed that this model was able to predict the resulting drug release kinetics accurately in all cases.

Conclusions. The “sequential layer” model can be used to elucidate the swelling and drug release behavior from hydrophilic matrix tablets and to simulate the effect of the device geometry on the drug release patterns. Hence, it can facilitate the development of new pharmaceutical products.

hydrophilic matrix tabletdiffusionswellingrelease mechanismmodelinghydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC)

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of PharmacyFreie Universitaet BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.School of Chemical EngineeringPurdue UniversityWest Lafayette