Chitin’s functionality as a novel disintegrant: benchmarking against commonly used disintegrants in different physico-chemical environments


Disintegrants are used as excipients to ensure rapid disintegration of pharmaceutical tablets and further ensure proper dissolution of the active pharmaceutical ingredient. This study investigates, disintegration mechanisms of chitin and common disintegrants. Swelling assessment (swelling force and swelling ratio) in different media; compaction behavior (pure or mixed with other excipients) tabletability, deformation (Heckel modeling) and compact disintegration times were investigated on the tested disintegrants (alginic acid calcium salt, crospovidone, sodium starch glycolate, croscarmellose sodium and chitin). Results show that the physico-chemical properties of the disintegration medium such as pH and ionic strength, as well as other formulation ingredients, affect the disintegrants functionalities. Heckel analysis using the mean yield pressure “Py” shows that alginic acid calcium salt is the most brittle among the studied disintegrants, while crospovidone has the most plastic deformation mechanism, followed by chitin. Chitin showed good tabletability and disintegration properties that were not influenced by the physico-chemical formulation environment. Chitin is largely available and easily modifiable and thus a promising material that could be used as a multifunctional excipient in tablet formulation.