Evaluating the swelling, erosion, and compaction properties of cellulose ethers

Muhammad U. Ghori, Liam M. Grover, Kofi Asare-Addo, Alan M. Smith, Barbara R. Conway*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Swelling, erosion, deformation, and consolidation properties can affect the performance of cellulose ethers, the most commonly used matrix former in hydrophilic sustained tablet formulations. The present study was designed to comparatively evaluate the swelling, erosion, compression, compaction, and relaxation properties of the cellulose ethers in a comprehensive study using standardised conditions. The interrelationship between various compressional models and the inherent deformation and consolidation properties of the polymers on the derived swelling and erosion parameters are consolidated. The impact of swelling (Kw) on erosion rates (KE) and the inter-relationship between Heckel and Kawakita plasticity constants was also investigated. It is evident from the findings that the increases in both substitution and polymer chain length led to higher Kw, but a lower KE; this was also true for all particle size fractions regardless of polymer grade. Smaller particle size and high substitution levels tend to increase the relative density of the matrix but reduce porosity, yield pressure (Py), Kawakita plasticity parameter (b−1) and elastic relaxation. Both KWversusKE (R2 = 0.949–0.980) and Py versus. b−1 correlations (R2 = 0.820–0.934) were reasonably linear with regards to increasing hydroxypropyl substitution and molecular size. Hence, it can be concluded that the combined knowledge of swelling and erosion kinetics in tandem with the in- and out-of-die compression findings can be used to select a specific polymer grade and further to develop and optimize formulations for oral controlled drug delivery applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-197
Number of pages15
JournalPharmaceutical Development and Technology
Issue number2
Early online date29 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2018


  • hydrophilic matrices
  • hypromellose
  • matrix erosion
  • matrix swelling
  • Methylcellulose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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