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Drug Dev Ind Pharm. 2004;30(9):937-45.

Comparison studies on the percolation thresholds of binary mixture tablets containing excipients of plastic/brittle and plastic/plastic deformation properties.

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Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan, Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Percolation theory has been used with great interest in understanding the design and characterization of dosage forms. In this study, work has been carried out to investigate the behavior of binary mixture tablets containing excipients of similar and different deformation properties. The binary mixture tablets were prepared by direct compression using lactose, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), Eudragit RS 100, and microcrystalline cellulose (MCC). The application of percolation theory on the relationships between compactibility, Pmax, or compression susceptibility (compressibility), gamma, and mixture compositions reveals the presence of percolation thresholds even for mixtures of similar deformation properties. The results showed that all mixture compositions exhibited at least one discreet change in the slope, which was referred to as the percolation threshold. The PVC/Eudragit RS100 mixture compositions showed significant percolation threshold at 80% (w/w) PVC loading. Two percolation thresholds were observed from a series of binary mixtures containing similar plastic deformation materials (PVC/MCC). The percolation thresholds were determined at 20% (w/w) and 80% (w/w) PVC loading. These are areas where one of the components percolates throughout the system and the properties of the tablets are expected to experience a sudden change. Experimental results, however, showed that total disruption of the tablet physical properties at the specified percolation thresholds can be observed for PVC/lactose mixtures at 20-30% (w/w) loading while only minor changes in the tablets' strength for PVC/MCC or PVC/Eudragit RS 100 mixtures were observed.

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