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Nanocrystal Dissolution Kinetics and Solubility Increase Prediction from Molecular Dynamics: The Case of α‑, β‑, and γ‑Glycine

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journal contribution
posted on 08.03.2017, 13:51 by Conor Parks, Andy Koswara, Hsien-Hsin Tung, Nandkishor K. Nere, Shailendra Bordawekar, Zoltan K. Nagy, Doraiswami Ramkrishna
Nanocrystals are receiving increased attention for pharmaceutical applications due to their enhanced solubility relative to their micron-sized counterpart and, in turn, potentially increased bioavailability. In this work, a computational method is proposed to predict the following: (1) polymorph specific dissolution kinetics and (2) the multiplicative increase in the polymorph specific nanocrystal solubility relative to the bulk solubility. The method uses a combination of molecular dynamics and a parametric particle size dependent mass transfer model. The method is demonstrated using a case study of α-, β-, and γ-glycine. It is shown that only the α-glycine form is predicted to have an increasing dissolution rate with decreasing particle size over the range of particle sizes simulated. On the contrary, γ-glycine shows a monotonically increasing dissolution rate with increasing particle size and dissolves at a rate 1.5 to 2 times larger than α- or β-glycine. The accelerated dissolution rate of γ-glycine relative to the other two polymorphs correlates directly with the interfacial energy ranking of γ > β > α obtained from the dissolution simulations, where γ- is predicted to have an interfacial energy roughly four times larger than either α- or β-glycine. From the interfacial energies, α- and β-glycine nanoparticles were predicted to experience modest solubility increases of up to 1.4 and 1.8 times the bulk solubility, where as γ-glycine showed upward of an 8 times amplification in the solubility. These MD simulations represent a first attempt at a computational (pre)­screening method for the rational design of experiments for future engineering of nanocrystal API formulations.

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