Use of Polyvinyl Alcohol as a Solubility-Enhancing Polymer for Poorly Water Soluble Drug Delivery (Part 1)

AAPS PharmSciTech. 2016 Feb;17(1):167-79. doi: 10.1208/s12249-015-0458-y. Epub 2015 Dec 4.


Polyvinyl alcohol (PVAL) has not been investigated in a binary formulation as a concentration-enhancing polymer owing to its high melting point/high viscosity and poor organic solubility. Due to the unique attributes of the KinetiSol® dispersing (KSD) technology, PVAL has been enabled for this application and it is the aim of this paper to investigate various grades for improvement of the solubility and bioavailability of poorly water soluble active pharmaceutical ingredients. Solid amorphous dispersions were created with the model drug, itraconazole (ITZ), at a selected drug loading of 20%. Polymer grades were chosen with variation in molecular weight and degree of hydroxylation to determine the effects on performance. Differential scanning calorimetry, powder X-ray diffraction, polarized light microscopy, size exclusion chromatography, and dissolution testing were used to characterize the amorphous dispersions. An in vivo pharmacokinetic study in rats was also conducted to compare the selected formulation to current market formulations of ITZ. The 4-88 grade of PVAL was determined to be effective at enhancing solubility and bioavailability of itraconazole.

Keywords: KinetiSol® dispersing; PVAL 4-88; itraconazole; polyvinyl alcohol; solid amorphous dispersions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Availability
  • Calorimetry, Differential Scanning / methods
  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical / methods
  • Drug Compounding / methods
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods
  • Excipients / chemistry
  • Itraconazole / chemistry*
  • Itraconazole / pharmacokinetics
  • Male
  • Polymers / chemistry*
  • Polyvinyl Alcohol / chemistry*
  • Powders / chemistry
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Solubility*
  • Water / chemistry*
  • X-Ray Diffraction / methods


  • Excipients
  • Polymers
  • Powders
  • Water
  • Itraconazole
  • Polyvinyl Alcohol