Evaluation of diclofenac sodium sustained release matrix pellets: Impact of polyethylene glycols molecular weight

Mohamed A. Ibrahim, Gamal A. Shazly

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Sustained release matrix pellets loaded with 5% w/w diclofenac sodium (DS) were prepared using extrusion/spheronization technique. Different polyethylene glycols (PEGs) of different molecular weight, namely PEG 2000, PEG 4000 and PEG 6000, were mixed with avicel PH 101® in different weight ratios to manufacture the pellet formulations and water was used as a binder. Mix torque rheometer was used to characterize the pellets' wet mass. Also, the prepared pellets were characterized for their particle sizes, DS content, shape and morphology as well as the in vitro drug release. The results showed increasing PEG weight ratio resulted in a reduction of wet mass torque as well as binder ratio, especially at PEG high weight ratios (30% and 50%) and the extent of lowering wet mass peak torque was inversely proportional to PEG molecular weight. The manufactured pellets exhibited size range of 993 μm to 1085 μm with small span values. The drug release from pellets was governed by the molecular weight of PEG used, since increasing PEG molecular weight resulted in slowing the drug release rate from pellets, but increasing its level resulted in enhancing release rate. This was attributed to increasing pellet wet mass peak torque by increasing PEG molecular weight and lowering it by increasing PEG level. The prepared pellets showed non-Fickian or anomalous drug release or the coupled diffusion/ polymer relaxation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-831
Number of pages11
JournalActa Poloniae Pharmaceutica
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Diclofenac sodium
  • In vitro release
  • Matrix pellets
  • Mix torque rheometry extrusion/spheronization


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