In this study, the use of plasma irradiation was investigated as a possible technique for increasing the dissolution rate of the poorly soluble drug griseofulvin. Plasma is a partially ionised gas consisting of ions, electrons and neutral species. Oxygen plasma was used to treat griseofulvin compacts as this would lead to the formation of oxygen containing functional groups on the surface of the compact thus increasing the wettability. Compacts containing 300 mg of the drug were prepared using a stainless steel punch and die assembly and plasma treated. The effect of the length and power of the plasma treatment upon the dissolution rate of griseofulvin was investigated. Dissolution experiments of griseofulvin were carried out using the paddle method using 0.1 M HCl and 0.1 M HCl with 2% sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS) as the dissolution media. The wettability was assessed by contact angle measurements using the sessile drop technique with the contact angle being measured every second for a period of ten seconds using pure water (to European Pharmacopoeia standards). Plasma treated and untreated samples were also analysed by scanning electron microscopy. Although plasma treatment was found to increase the wettability of griseofulvin it was not found to increase the dissolution rate as the treatment caused surface fusion of the material.
- Poorly soluble drugs
- Plasma irradiation