Probing fluconazole deposition inside mesoporous silica using solid-state NMR spectroscopy: crystallization of a confined metastable form and phase transformations under storage conditions

Maciej Nowak, Aleksandra J. Dyba, Anna M. Gołkowska, Aleksandra Nieckarz, Karolina Krajewska, Katarzyna Malec, Dinu Iuga, Bożena Karolewicz, Yaroslav Z. Khimyak, Karol P. Nartowski

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Encapsulation of molecules into mesoporous silica carriers continues to attract considerable interest in the area of drug delivery and crystal engineering. Here, MCM-41, SBA-15 and MCF silica matrices were used to encapsulate fluconazole (FLU), a pharmaceutically relevant molecule with known conformational flexibility, using the melting method. The composites have been characterized using 1H, 13C and 19F NMR spectroscopy, nitrogen adsorption, PXRD and thermal analysis (DSC, TGA). Drug loading up to 50 wt% allowed us to probe the crystallization process and to detect different local environments of confined FLU molecules. 19F NMR spectroscopy enabled us to detect the gradual pore filling of silica with FLU and differentiate the amorphous domains and surface species. The use of the complementary structural and thermal techniques enabled us to monitor crystallization of the metastable FLU form II in MCF. Using 1H and 19F NMR spectroscopy we observed pore-size dependent reversible dehydration/hydration behaviour in the MCM and SBA composites. As water content has considerable importance in understanding of physicochemical stability and shelf-life of pharmaceutical formulations, experimental evidence of the effect of API-water-carrier interactions on the API adsorption mechanism on silica surface is highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123403
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Early online date14 Sep 2023
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2023

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