Pharmaceutical Research

, Volume 29, Issue 10, pp 2754–2765 | Cite as

Molecular Weight Effects on the Miscibility Behavior of Dextran and Maltodextrin with Poly(vinylpyrrolidone)

  • Bernard Van Eerdenbrugh
  • Lynne S. Taylor
Research Paper



To characterize and interpret the miscibility of dextran and maltodextrin with poly(vinylpyrrolidone) (DEX-PVP) as a function of polymer molecular weights.


Blend miscibility was studied using 4 different molecular weight (MW) grades of DEX combined with 5 MW grades of PVP, over a broad compositional range. Miscibility was evaluated by inspection of glass transition events measured by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Fourier transform mid-infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), combined with curve fitting, was performed to characterize the extent of hydrogen bonding. The observed miscibility behavior was further interpreted in terms of mixing thermodynamics.


Miscibility of the blends ranged from fully miscible to completely immiscible with multiple partially miscible systems observed. Increasing polymer molecular weight decreased miscibility. For the lowest DEX grade, hydrogen bonding was independent of PVP MW, as expected since all systems were completely miscible. Higher molecular weights of DEX resulted in reduced intermolecular hydrogen bonding and decreased miscibility, increasingly so for higher MW PVP grades. Evaluation of the mixing thermodynamics supported these findings.


With higher combined molecular weights of DEX-PVP blends, phase behavior evolves from completely miscible to virtually immiscible. Concurrently, DEX-PVP hydrogen bonding decreases. From a thermodynamic perspective, the combinatorial mixing entropy was observed to decrease as the molecular weight of the polymers increased, providing a reduced counterbalance to the unfavorable mixing enthalpy thought to accompany this polymer combination.

Key Words

dextran differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) maltodextrin mid infrared spectroscopy miscibility molecular weight phase separation poly(vinylpyrrolidone) 


Acknowledgments & DISCLOSURES

The authors thank the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Structured Organic Particulate Systems (NSF ERC-SOPS)(EEC-0540855) for financial support. Elisabeth M. Topp, Ph.D. and Andreas M. Sophocleous, Ph.D. are thanked for providing access to the lyophilizer and help with freeze-drying experiments, respectively. BVE is a Postdoctoral Researcher of the ‘Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek’, Flanders, Belgium.

Supplementary material

11095_2012_689_MOESM1_ESM.doc (1.3 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 1.28 mb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial and Physical Pharmacy, College of PharmacyPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  2. 2.Laboratory for Pharmacotechnology and BiopharmacyK.U. Leuven, Gasthuisberg O&N2LeuvenBelgium

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