Physical stability of drugs after storage above and below the glass transition temperature: Relationship to glass-forming ability

Amjad Alhalaweh, Ahmad Alzghoul, Denny Mahlin, Christel A.S. Bergström

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Amorphous materials are inherently unstable and tend to crystallize upon storage. In this study, we investigated the extent to which the physical stability and inherent crystallization tendency of drugs are related to their glass-forming ability (GFA), the glass transition temperature (Tg) and thermodynamic factors. Differential scanning calorimetry was used to produce the amorphous state of 52 drugs [18 compounds crystallized upon heating (Class II) and 34 remained in the amorphous state (Class III)] and to perform in situ storage for the amorphous material for 12 h at temperatures 20 °C above or below the Tg. A computational model based on the support vector machine (SVM) algorithm was developed to predict the structure-property relationships. All drugs maintained their Class when stored at 20 °C below the Tg. Fourteen of the Class II compounds crystallized when stored above the Tg whereas all except one of the Class III compounds remained amorphous. These results were only related to the glass-forming ability and no relationship to e.g. thermodynamic factors was found. The experimental data were used for computational modeling and a classification model was developed that correctly predicted the physical stability above the Tg. The use of a large dataset revealed that molecular features related to aromaticity and π-π interactions reduce the inherent physical stability of amorphous drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15184
Pages (from-to)312-317
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Amorphous
  • Computational prediction
  • Glass-forming ability
  • Physical stability
  • SVM

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