Application of pulsed laser ablation (PLA) for the size reduction of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
We studied the application of pulsed laser ablation (PLA) for particle size reduction in non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Grinding of the poorly water-soluble NSAID crystallites can considerably increase their solubility and bioavailability, thereby the necessary doses can be reduced significantly. We used tablets of ibuprofen, niflumic acid and meloxicam as targets. Nanosecond laser pulses were applied at various wavelengths (KrF excimer laser, λ = 248 nm, FWHM = 18 ns and
... M = 18 ns and Nd:YAG laser, λ1 = 532 nm/λ2 = 1064 nm, FWHM = 6 ns) and at various fluences. FTIR and Raman spectra showed that the chemical compositions of the drugs had not changed during ablation at 532 nm and 1064 nm laser wavelengths. The size distribution of the ablated products was established using two types of particle size analyzers (SMPS and OPC) having complementary measuring ranges. The mean size of the drug crystallites decreased from the initial 30–80 µm to the submicron to nanometer range. For a better understanding of the ablation mechanism we made several investigations (SEM, Ellipsometry, Fast photography) and some model calculations. We have established that PLA offers a chemical-free and simple method for the size reduction of poorly water-soluble drugs and a possible new way for pharmaceutical drug preformulation for nasal administration.