Semifluorinated alkanes (SFAs) are aprotic solvents, which may be used as drug solvents for topical ocular applications, for instance, in dry eye syndrome. Their physical properties suggest that they might be prone to interaction with plastic materials, such as, polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), which are commonly used as packaging materials for pharmaceutical products. In this study, we investigate interactions of PE and PP with a liquid SFA perfluorohexyloctane (PFHO) using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and cross-polarized light microscopy. Binary phase diagrams of PFHO-PE and PFHO-PP systems demonstrating interactions of PFHO with the polymeric materials were constructed based on DSC data. According to this data, PFHO tends to lower the melting temperatures of PE and PP. The equilibrium values of solubilities of the polymers in PFHO and PFHO in the polymers were obtained by extrapolation of melting enthalpy data. Absorption of PFHO by PE and PP materials at ambient conditions after 4 weeks of equilibration was also studied by TGA. From the presented results, it may be concluded that thorough studies of interactions of PE or PP with SFAs are required when these materials are used as packaging components in SFA-based formulations.
Keywords: Extractables; Leachables; Phase diagram; Polyethylene; Polypropylene; Semifluorinated alkanes; Thermal analysis.
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