The effect of Na2CO3, NaF and NH4OH on the stability and release behavior of sol–gel derived silica xerogels embedded with bioactive compounds
Stability, defined as the reproducible behavior of a device upon its storage, is an important issue in pharmaceutical formulation. Silica xerogels obtained through the sol–gel route are relatively new as matrices for the controlled release of drugs. In some cases, it was observed that their behavior changes upon storage, so that they cannot always be defined as “stable”. This occurs especially when gel processing is performed at mild temperatures, a procedure that may have to be used to prevent degradation of the embedded drug. This work investigated the use of inorganic catalysts as potential xerogel stability inducers when gel curing by heating is not applicable. Three compounds known to accelerate sol–gel polymerization, namely ammonia, sodium fluoride and sodium carbonate, were introduced during the polymerization of low-temperature processed inorganic and organically modified gels, and the effect of each compound on xerogel stability and drug release was monitored. The use of carbonate leads to formulations with good retention properties, as opposed to ammonia and NaF, which lead to poorly retentive xerogels in accordance with their known ability to increase porosity. Ammonia was shown to be a poor stability promoter independently of gel composition, as opposed to fluoride and carbonate, which both displayed stabilizing properties in a dose-dependent manner. No correlation was found between xerogel stability and drug release properties. An attempt was also made to correlate stability data with polymerization rates and wet gel syneresis time evolution with the purpose of identifying one or more synthesis parameters that could act as stability predictors for pre-formulation studies. No correlation was found between stability and syneresis data. A similar trend in the curve of gel time vs. catalyst concentration was observed for the two stabilizing catalysts, which was different for the non-stabilizing ammonia. It was concluded that the trend of this curve could potentially provide an indicator of catalyst stabilizing efficacy.
Journal: Acta Biomaterialia - Volume 6, Issue 6, June 2010, Pages 2246–2253