AAPS PharmSciTech

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 1582–1591 | Cite as

Contact Angle Measurements: an Alternative Approach Towards Understanding the Mechanism of Increased Drug Dissolution from Ethylcellulose Tablets Containing Surfactant and Exploring the Relationship Between Their Contact Angles and Dissolution Behaviors

  • Tiaotiao Liu
  • Jingqiang Hao
  • Baixue Yang
  • Beibei Hu
  • Zhixiang Cui
  • Sanming LiEmail author
Research Article


The addition of surfactant in tablet was a well-defined approach to improve drug dissolution rate. While the selected surfactant played a vital role in improving the wettability of tablet by medium, it was equally important to improve the dissolution rate by permeation effect due to production of pores or the reduced inter-particle adhesion. Furthermore, understanding the mechanism of dissolution rate increased was significant. In this work, contact angle measurement was taken up as an alternative approach for understanding the dissolution rate enhancement for tablet containing surfactant. Ethylcellulose, as a substrate, was used to prepare tablet. Four surfactants, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate (SDBS), dodecyltrimethylammonium bromide (DTAB), and sodium lauryl sulfonate (SLS), were used. Berberine hydrochloride, metformin hydrochloride, and rutin were selected as model drugs. The contact angle of tablet in the absence and presence of surfactant was measured to explore the mechanism. The dissolution test was investigated to verify the mechanism and to establish a correlation with the contact angle. The result showed that the mechanism was the penetration effect rather than the wetting effect. The dissolution increased with a reduction in the contact angle. DTAB was found to obtain the highest level of dissolution enhancement and the lowest contact angle, while SDS, SDBS, and SLS were found to be the less effective in both dissolution enhancement and contact angle decrease. Therefore, contact angle was a good indicator for dissolution behavior besides exploring the mechanism of increased dissolution, which shows great potential in formula screening.

Key Words

Surfactant Dissolution rate Contact angle Mechanism Relationship 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81473161).


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Copyright information

© American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tiaotiao Liu
    • 1
  • Jingqiang Hao
    • 2
  • Baixue Yang
    • 2
  • Beibei Hu
    • 2
  • Zhixiang Cui
    • 2
  • Sanming Li
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Traditional Chinese Materia MedicaShenyang Pharmaceutical UniversityBenxiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of PharmacyShenyang Pharmaceutical UniversityBenxiPeople’s Republic of China

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