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Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2015 Jun;93:173-82. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpb.2015.03.009. Epub 2015 Mar 30.

In-vitro simulation of luminal conditions for evaluation of performance of oral drug products: Choosing the appropriate test media.

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Faculty of Pharmacy, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece.
Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Goethe University, Frankfurt/Main, Germany.
Faculty of Pharmacy, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. Electronic address:



Biorelevant media for evaluation of dosage form performance in the gastrointestinal lumen were first introduced in the late 1990s. Since then, a variety of additional media have been proposed, making it now possible to simulate most regions in the gastrointestinal tract in both prandial states. However, recent work suggests that the complexity and degree of biorelevance required to predict in-vivo release varies with the drug, dosage form and dosing conditions.


The aim of this commentary was to establish which levels of biorelevant media are appropriate to various combinations of active pharmaceutical ingredient(s), dosage form and dosing conditions. With regard to their application, a decision tree for the selection of the appropriate biorelevant medium/media is proposed and illustrative case scenarios are provided. Additionally, media to represent the distal small intestine in both prandial states are presented.


The newly proposed levels of biorelevance and accompanying decision tree may serve as a useful tool during formulation development in order to ensure high quality, predictive performance results without unnecessary complexity of media. In future work, further specific case examples will be evolved, which will additionally address the need to take gastrointestinal passage times and type and intensity of agitation into consideration.


Biorelevant media; Classification; DCS classes; Decision tree; Fasted state; Fed state

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