Electrical impedance tomography for three-dimensional drug release monitoring
Electrical impedance tomography (EIT) was adapted to monitor drug release three-dimensionally as a function of time. EIT is an electrical imaging modality in which the three-dimensional conductivity distribution inside an object is computed based on electrical measurements from the boundaries. Here, the three-dimensional concentration distribution was monitored with the help of the experimentally determined relationship between drug concentration and conductivity. The EIT monitoring was carried out with propranolol hydrochloride tablets in an apparatus similar to USP dissolution apparatus 2. The release profiles estimated using EIT matched well with the UV/VIS spectrophotometric analyses that were performed as a reference. There are several benefits conferred by three-dimensional monitoring, i.e., comprehensive information about the release process; no need to take samples during experiments; and not essential to assume homogenous concentration distribution in the drug release analysis. EIT is an in-line technique, and moreover, it is non-intrusive and non-invasive. The possibilities and the characteristics of the EIT monitoring are described in detail, and some potential drug release applications are proposed. EIT is especially encouraged to be exploited for research and development purposes.
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