Characterization of moisture-protective polymer coatings using differential scanning calorimetry and dynamic vapor sorption.

Research paper by O O Bley, J J Siepmann, R R Bodmeier

Indexed on: 16 May '08Published on: 16 May '08Published in: Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences


The aim of this study was to evaluate the moisture-protective ability of different polymeric coatings. Free films and film-coated tablets (with cores containing freeze-dried garlic powder) were prepared using aqueous solutions/dispersions of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), Opadry AMB [a poly(vinylalcohol)-based formulation] and Eudragit E PO [a poly(methacrylate-methylmethacrylate)]. The water content of the systems upon open storage at 75% relative humidity (RH) and 22 degrees C (room temperature) was followed gravimetrically. Furthermore, polymer powders, free films and coated tablets were analyzed by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and dynamic vapor sorption (DVS). The type of polymer strongly affected the resulting water uptake kinetics of the free films and coated tablets. DSC analysis revealed whether or not significant physical changes occurred in the coatings during storage, and whether the water vapor permeability was water concentration dependent. Using DVS analysis the critical glass transition RH of Opadry AMB powder and Opadry AMB-coated tablets at 25 degrees C could be determined: 44.0% and 72.9% RH. Storage below these threshold values significantly reduces water penetration. Thus, DVS and DSC measurements can provide valuable information on the nature of polymers used for moisture protection.