Laity, Peter R., Mantle, Mick D, Gladden, Lynn F and Cameron, Ruth E. (2010) Magnetic resonance imaging and X-ray microtomography studies of a gel-forming tablet formulation. European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, 74 (1). pp. 109-119. ISSN 0939-6411

The capabilities of two methods for investigating tablet swelling are investigated, based on a study of a model gel-forming system. Results from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were compared with results from a novel application of X-ray microtomography (XμT) to track the movements of embedded glass microsphere tracers as the model tablets swelled. MRI provided information concerning the movement of hydration fronts into the tablets and the composition of the swollen gel layer, which formed at the tablet surface and progressively thickened with time. Conversely, XμT revealed significant axial expansion within the tablet core, at short times and ahead of the hydration fronts, where there was insufficient water to be observed by MRI (estimated to be around 15% by weight for the system used here). Thus, MRI and XμT may be regarded as complementary methods for studying the hydration and swelling behaviour of tablets.

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