The objective of the study was to investigate the use of low frequency dielectric spectroscopy as a means of characterizing the thermal transitions of an amorphous drug substance, indometacin, with particular emphasis on modelling the response using the Dissado-Hill function.
The low frequency dielectric behaviour of indometacin was measured over a temperature range of 10–160°C and a frequency range of 10-3-106 Hz. Modulated temperature differential scanning calorimetry (MTDSC) studies were also performed on equivalent samples, showing a glass transition, recrystallization and melting. Isothermal low frequency dielectric spectra of the sample at temperatures below recrystallization showed the dynamic dielectric relaxation associated with the amorphous phase, while changes in the real and imaginary permittivities were observed that were associated with recrystallization and subsequent melting. A small discontinuity was observed immediately above the recrystallization process in the MTDSC and dielectric data, suggested to correspond to a solid state transformation. The use of the Dissado-Hill function as a means of modelling the dielectric behaviour has also been described.
The study suggests that low frequency dielectric spectroscopy, used in conjunction with MTDSC and Dissado-Hill modelling, maybe a useful tool for the characterization of amorphous and crystalline drugs.