Using NMR Chemical Shift Imaging To Monitor Swelling and Molecular Transport in Drug-Loaded Tablets of Hydrophobically Modified Poly(acrylic acid): Methodology and Effects of Polymer (In)solubility

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A new technique has been developed using NMR chemical shift imaging (CSI) to monitor water penetration and molecular transport in initially dry polymer tablets that also contain small low-molecular weight compounds to be released from the tablets. Concentration profiles of components contained in the swelling tablets could be extracted via the intensities and chemical shift changes of peaks corresponding to protons of the components. The studied tablets contained hydrophobically modified poly(acrylic acid) (HMPAA) as the polymer component and griseofulvin and ethanol as hydrophobic and hydrophilic, respectively, low-molecular weight model compounds. The water solubility of HMPAA could be altered by titration with NaOH. In the pure acid form, HMPAA tablets only underwent a finite swelling until the maximum water content of the polymer-rich phase, as confirmed by independent phase studies, had been reached. By contrast, after partial neutralization with NaOH, the polyacid became fully miscible with water. The solubility of the polymer affected the water penetration, the polymer release, and the releases of both ethanol and griseofulvin. The detailed NMR CSI concentration profiles obtained highlighted the clear differences in the disintegration/dissolution/release behavior for the two types of tablet and provided insights into their molecular origin. The study illustrates the potential of the NMR CSI technique to give information of importance for the development of pharmaceutical tablets and, more broadly, for the general understanding of any operation that involves the immersion and ultimate disintegration of a dry polymer matrix in a solvent.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Food Engineering
  • Physical Chemistry
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13898-13908
Issue number45
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch