Polymorphism of chlorpropamide on liquid-assisted mechanical treatment: choice of liquid and type of mechanical treatment matter
Different types of mechanical treatment (tableting, grinding, milling, etc.) are important technological operations in the pharmaceutical industry. Solid materials are not merely comminuted during such treatment, but can undergo polymorphic transitions and amorphisation. A liquid is often added to the solid sample on purpose, e.g. in order to facilitate comminution. In many cases, liquid is present inadvertently, either as a result of trace solvent following up-stream operations, or sorbed from the atmosphere. This work explores the liquid-assisted mechanical treatment of two metastable forms of a model pharmaceutical compound chlorpropamide (CPA), namely the β- and ε-forms. We investigate the stability of these polymorphs to mechanical treatment in the presence of a series of fluids that have affinity for different fragments of the CPA molecule. In addition to variation in fluids, the effect of different mechanical treatment is explored, employing model shear and restricted impact devices, alongside grinding in a mortar. CPA offers a clear example of the drastically different results of shear and impact on mechanochemical polymorphism, on the importance of the careful selection of solvent for liquid-assisted treatment, and on the possible role of even trace quantities of solvent. Further, this work demonstrates the importance of the starting polymorph in determining the outcome of a mechanochemical process. All of these factors can have notable consequence on the outcome of technological operations that include mechanical treatment.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Celebrating Excellence in Research: 100 Women of Chemistry