Rapid profiling of enteric coated drug delivery spheres via Broadband Acoustic Resonance Dissolution Spectroscopy (BARDS)
There is an increased trend towards the use of drug and enteric coated sugar spheres for controlled oral delivery of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API). This trend is driven by increased efficacy and ease of formulation of different dosage levels. However, difficulties exist in determining the thickness of drug and enteric coatings in a time efficient manner during manufacture, quality assurance and stability testing. The thickness of the coating determines the dosage of the API and the thickness of the enteric coating determines the release rate of the drug in the gastro-intestinal tract. Broadband Acoustic Resonance Dissolution Spectroscopy (BARDS) offers a rapid new approach to characterising the enteric coating thickness and the raw materials used in their manufacture. BARDS applications are based on reproducible changes in the compressibility of a solvent during dissolution which is monitored acoustically due to associated changes in the speed of sound in solution. It is demonstrated how core delivery sugar spheres have unique acoustic spectra attributable to the mean size distribution of the spheres. A steady state acoustic lag time is associated with the disintegration of the enteric coating, in basic solution. This lag time can be manipulated by varying the concentration of the base which affects the rate at which the coating dissolves. It is anticipated that the thickness/loading of the spheres can be estimated from the lag time.