Using Environment-Sensitive Fluorescent Probes to Characterize Liquid-Liquid Phase Separation in Supersaturated Solutions of Poorly Water Soluble Compounds
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Highly supersaturated aqueous solutions of poorly soluble compounds can undergo liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) when the concentration exceeds the “amorphous solubility”. This phenomenon has been widely observed during high throughput screening of new molecular entities as well as during the dissolution of amorphous solid dispersions. In this study, we have evaluated the use of environment-sensitive fluorescence probes to investigate the formation and properties of the non-crystalline drug-rich aggregates formed in aqueous solutions as a result of LLPS.
Six different environment-sensitive fluorophores were employed to study LLPS in highly supersaturated solutions of several model compounds, all dihydropyridine derivatives.
Each fluoroprobe exhibited a large hypsochromic shift with decreasing environment polarity. Upon drug aggregate formation, the probes partitioned into the drug-rich phase and exhibited changes in emission wavelength and intensity consistent with sensing a lower polarity environment. The LLPS onset concentrations determined using the fluorescence measurements were in good agreement with light scattering measurements as well as theoretically estimated amorphous solubility values.
Environment-sensitive fluorescence probes are useful to help understand the phase behavior of highly supersaturated aqueous solutions, which in turn is important in the context of developing enabling formulations for poorly soluble compounds.
KEY WORDSFluorescence Phase separation Supersaturation
Amorphous solid dispersions
Critical micelle concentration
2-(4-(dimethylamino)styryl) -N-Ethylpyridinium Iodide
Excited state intermolecular proton transfer
Hydroxypropylmethyl cellulose acetate succinate
Intermolecular charge transfer
Liquid-liquid phase separation
Polarized light microscopy
4-(4-(Diethylamino)styryl) -N-Methylpyridinium Iodide (4-Di-2ASP) 6-Propionyl-2-dimethylaminonaphthalene
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