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Validation of the salivary tracer technique for the determination of the in vivo disintegration of hard gelatin capsules

Sager, Maximilian, Grimm, Michael, Jedamzik, Philipp, Merdivan, Simon, Kromrey, Marie-Luise, Hasan, Mahmoud, Koziolek, Mirko, Tzvetkov, Mladen V. and Weitschies, Werner (2019) Validation of the salivary tracer technique for the determination of the in vivo disintegration of hard gelatin capsules. Molecular Pharmaceutics. ISSN 1543-83841543-8392


The process of disintegration is a crucial step in oral drug delivery with immediate release dosage forms. In this work, the salivary tracer technique was applied as a simple and inexpensive method for the investigation of the in vivo disintegration time of hard gelatin capsules filled with caffeine. The disintegration times observed with the salivary tracer technique were verified by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). After an overnight fast of at least 10 h and caffeine abstinence of minimum 72 h, conventional hard gelatin capsules containing 50 mg caffeine and 5 mg iron oxide were administered to 8 healthy volunteers. For the period of 1 h after capsule intake, subjects were placed in supine position in the MRI scanner, and scans were performed in short time intervals. Each MRI measurement was directly followed by saliva sampling by drooling. Salivary caffeine concentrations were determined by high performance liquid chromatography followed by mass spectrometric detection (LC/MS-MS). The time point of capsule disintegration was determined by visual inspection of the MR images as well as by an increase in the salivary caffeine concentration. The results indicated that the difference in mean disintegration times of the capsules as determined by the two in vivo methods was around 4 min (8.8 min for MRI vs 12.5 min for saliva). All disintegration times determined by the salivary tracer technique were slightly higher. This delay could be explained by the fact that the appearance of caffeine in saliva required drug absorption in the small intestine. Because capsule disintegration happened mainly in the stomach, the exact site of disintegration as well as the processes of gastric mixing and gastric emptying contributed to the delay between the two methods. This work demonstrated the feasibility of the salivary tracer technique to investigate the in vivo disintegration of immediate release dosage forms in a simple and reliable manner.

Item Type: Article
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2019 00:45
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2019 00:45


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