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Crystallization from the Amorphous State of a Pharmaceutical Compound: Impact of Chirality and Chemical Purity

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journal contribution
posted on 29.11.2016, 00:00 by Quentin Viel, Clément Brandel, Yohann Cartigny, M. Ermelinda S. Eusébio, João Canotilho, Valérie Dupray, Eric Dargent, Gérard Coquerel, Samuel Petit
The crystallization behavior and morphological features of particles obtained from amorphous diprophylline (DPL) are reported. After fast cooling of the melt, progressive heating above the glass transition (Tg ≈ 37 °C) induces the nucleation and growth of well-shaped crystals: PC for primary crystals. The combination of differential scanning calorimetry, hot stage optical microscopy, powder X-ray diffraction, and Raman spectroscopy revealed that these PC are kinetically favored and can form spontaneously in the supercooled melt whatever the enantiomeric composition, although their development and relative stability are influenced by the presence of theophylline, the main impurity in DPL samples. Specific crystal surfaces of the PC act as favorable areas and support for the subsequent formation of previously known metastable crystal forms consisting of solid solutions of the two DPL enantiomers. This study demonstrates the complex multistep mechanism that can occur during the temperature-induced crystallization of chiral amorphous drugs, and their strong sensitivity to enantiomeric composition and chemical purity.