The subdivision behavior of polymeric tablets

Int J Pharm. 2019 Sep 10;568:118554. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2019.118554. Epub 2019 Jul 20.


The subdivision behavior of polymeric tablets produced with the well-known polymers Soluplus® (SOL), polyvinyl pyrrolidone co-vinyl acetate (PVPVA) and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) was evaluated in this study. The polymeric tablets were submitted to different post-treatments (aging, thermal and exposure to compressed gaseous carbon dioxide) and its mechanical, spectroscopic and microstructure properties were assessed. SOL tablets showed the best results for tablet subdivision, particularly, the mean mass variation (3.9%) was significantly lower than the other two polymeric tablets (7.2% and 9.1% for PVPVA and HPMC, respectively), and showed better results than common tablets produced from powder matrices (7-14%). SOL tablets were also more sensitive to the different post-treatments applied, which reduced the mass loss and friability from 1.5% and 0.8%, respectively, to values close to zero and without altering their porosity. The thermal treatment of PVPVA tablets, in turn, also led to similar subdivision results, with mass loss of 0.3% and friability of 0.02%. In contrast, the granules of HPMC presented compaction difficulties making its tablets unsuitable for the subdivision process, even after additional post-treatment. Polymeric matrices with uniform internal structure and appropriate mechanical strength are the key to a better adaptation for the tablet subdivision.

Keywords: Friability; Hot-melt extrusion; Mass loss; Mass variation; Polymeric tablets; Tablet subdivision.

MeSH terms

  • Carbon Dioxide / chemistry
  • Hot Temperature
  • Hypromellose Derivatives / chemistry*
  • Polyethylene Glycols / chemistry*
  • Polyvinyls / chemistry*
  • Povidone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Povidone / chemistry
  • Tablets


  • Polyvinyls
  • Tablets
  • polyvinyl caprolactam-polyvinyl acetate-polyethylene glycol graft copolymer
  • vinylacetate-vinylpyrrolidone copolymer
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Hypromellose Derivatives
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Povidone