Evaluation of Non-Crystalline Cellulose as a Novel Excipient in Solid Dose Products

The objective of this study was to evaluate non-crystalline cellulose (NCC) as a novel tablet excipient in solid oral dosage forms in comparison with microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) and silicified microcrystalline cellulose (Prosolv®, SMCC).


Significance: MCC, although a widely used tablet excipient, has diasdvantages in terms of its low dilution potential for potent drugs, and sensitivity to lubricant and moisture. SMCC, a modified version of MCC, has improved tablet compression properties. However, SMCC is expensive and also affects the moisture sorption and particle deformation during compression leading to increased tensile strength and tablet hardness. NCC was found to be similar to SMCC in its performance as a tablet excipient and thus can serve as a cheaper alternative to SMCC.


Methods: Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffrectometry (XRD) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analyses were performed on NCC, MCC and SMCC. Further, out-of-the die Heckel, Kawakita compact densification and stress-strain analyses were performed to evaluate their compaction and compressibility properties. Various compendial and non-compendial tests were performed to to determine the flow properties of materials. Dissolution studies were performed using Amlodipine besylate as a marker drug.


Results: It was found that NCC has similar or even better flow properties and compactibility than MCC due to its porous and amorphous structure whereas it had similar properties as SMCC.


Conclusions: Based on the data, it can be concluded that NCC can serve as a cheaper and better alternative to MCC as excipient in solid dosage forms.


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