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Impact of Amylose-Amylopectin Ratio of Starches on the Mechanical Strength and Stability of Acetylsalicylic Acid Tablets

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The interaction of starch with moisture is primarily influenced by its two key components, amylose and amylopectin. This investigation delved into the moisture sorption properties of starches with varying amylose-amylopectin ratios and their impact on tablet properties, including drug stability. Starch samples were equilibrated to 33%, 53%, and 75% relative humidity (RH) and subsequently evaluated for tabletability, compactibility, and yield pressure. The study also assessed the effect of humidity on viscoelastic recovery. At 33% and 53% RH, high-amylose starch exhibited superior tabletability and compactibility compared to high-amylopectin starch. However, a reversal of these trends was observed at 75% RH. Regarding yield pressure, high-amylose starch demonstrated lower yield pressure than high-amylopectin starch. Additionally, tablets made from high-amylose starch displayed a reduced extent of viscoelastic recovery compared to those made from high-amylopectin starch. The variations in tableting properties were found to be associated with the relative localization of sorbed moisture. Notably, the degradation of acetylsalicylic acid in high-amylose starch tablets at 75% RH and 40°C was less pronounced than in tablets with high-amylopectin starch. This observation was linked to the greater number of water molecule binding sites in high-amylose starch. Moreover, a significant portion of the sorbed moisture in high-amylose starch was internally absorbed, limiting the availability of diffusible sorbed moisture for degradation reactions. The insights gained from this study offer a better understanding of how the amylose-amylopectin ratio influences tableting properties and the stability of moisture-sensitive drugs. This is particularly relevant given the common use of starch as an excipient in solid dosage forms.
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