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Quantitative Analysis of Glassy State Relaxation and Ostwald Ripening during Annealing Using Freeze-Drying Microscopy

Authors
  • kharatyan;, tigran
Publication Date
May 30, 2022
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/pharmaceutics14061176
OAI: oai:mdpi.com:/1999-4923/14/6/1176/
Source
MDPI
Keywords
Language
English
License
Green
External links

Abstract

Supercooling during the freezing of pharmaceutical solutions often leads to suboptimal freeze-drying results, such as long primary drying times or a collapse in the cake structure. Thermal treatment of the frozen solution, known as annealing, can improve those issues by influencing properties such as the pore size and collapse temperature of the lyophilisate. In this study we aimed to show that annealing causes a rearrangement of water molecules between ice crystals, as well as between the freeze-concentrated amorphous matrix and the crystalline ice phase in a frozen binary aqueous solution. Ice crystal sizes, as well as volume fractions of the crystalline and amorphous phases of 10% (w/w) sucrose and trehalose solutions, were quantified after annealing using freeze-drying microscopy and image labelling. Depending on the annealing time and temperature, the amorphous phase was shown to decrease its volume due to the crystallisation of vitreous water (i.e., glassy state relaxation) while the crystalline phase was undergoing coarsening (i.e., Ostwald ripening). These results allow, for the first time, a quantitative comparison of the two phenomena. It was demonstrated that glassy state relaxation and Ostwald ripening, although occurring simultaneously, are distinct processes that follow different kinetics.

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