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Chitin’s Functionality as a Novel Disintegrant: Benchmarking Against Commonly Used Disintegrants in Different Physicochemical Environments

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Disintegrants serve as excipients to facilitate the rapid disintegration of pharmaceutical tablets, ensuring proper dissolution of the active pharmaceutical ingredient. This study explores the disintegration mechanisms of chitin and common disintegrants. The investigation includes assessments of swelling (swelling force and swelling ratio) in different media, compaction behavior (whether pure or mixed with other excipients), tabletability, deformation (Heckel modeling), and compact disintegration times for the tested disintegrants (alginic acid calcium salt, crospovidone, sodium starch glycolate, croscarmellose sodium, and chitin). Results indicate that the physicochemical properties of the disintegration medium, such as pH and ionic strength, along with other formulation ingredients, influence the disintegrant functionalities. Heckel analysis using the mean yield pressure "Py" reveals that alginic acid calcium salt exhibits the highest brittleness among the studied disintegrants, while crospovidone demonstrates the most plastic deformation mechanism, followed by chitin. Chitin exhibits favorable tabletability and disintegration properties that remain unaffected by the physicochemical formulation environment. Given its widespread availability and ease of modification, chitin holds promise as a multifunctional excipient in tablet formulation.
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