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A Novel Technique to Improve Drug Loading Capacity of Fast/Extended Release Orally Dissolving Films with Potential for Paediatric and Geriatric Drug Delivery


Orally dissolving films (ODFs) have received much attention as potential oral drug delivery systems for paediatric and geriatric patients, particularly those suffering from dysphagia. With their unique properties and advantages, the technology offers improved patient compliance and wider acceptability, eliminates the fear of choking, enables ease of administration and offers dosing convenience, without the requirement of water. However, adequate drug loading remains a challenge. The aim of this study was to mechanistically design and evaluate fast and extended release ODF formulations with high drug loading capacity, displaying good physicochemical and mechanical properties, as a potential dosage form for paediatric and geriatric use employing a slightly soluble model drug—ibuprofen. Different polymers (0.6–10% HPMC, 0.6–1.5% guar gum), plasticisers (0.1–0.5% glycerine, 0.1% sorbitol) and processing conditions (40–60°C drying temperatures, 8–16 h drying times) were investigated to produce films using the solvent casting method. Molecular compatibility was assessed using TGA, XRD and FTIR whereas film topography was assessed using SEM. Maximum ibuprofen load in single films was 20.7 mg/film (54.4%) and released 100% drug content in 5 min, while triple layered ibuprofen-loaded films contained 62.2 mg/film and released 100% drug release in 1 h. The ODFs demonstrated good disintegration time using low volume artificial saliva media and high dosage from uniformity. This study provides a mechanistic insight to the design and evaluation of fast and extended release ODFs with high drug loading, suitable for administration to paediatric and geriatric patients.

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Isra University (Jordan) provided funding for Gailany Ouda towards his MSc. Najran University and Aston University provided financial support to Hamad Alyami and Affiong Iyrie work in this research, respectively.

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Correspondence to Eman Z. Dahmash.

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Ouda, G.I., Dahmash, E.Z., Alyami, H. et al. A Novel Technique to Improve Drug Loading Capacity of Fast/Extended Release Orally Dissolving Films with Potential for Paediatric and Geriatric Drug Delivery. AAPS PharmSciTech 21, 126 (2020).

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  • orally dissolving films
  • drug load
  • fast-release films
  • extended-release films
  • paediatric formulations
  • geriatric formulations