Impact of cocrystal solution-state stability on cocrystal dissociation and polymorphic drug recrystallization during dissolution

Bianfei Xuan, Yu Chee Sonia Chen, Kong Ching Wong, Ruipeng Chen, Po Sang Lo, Richard Lakerveld, Henry Hoi Yee Tong, Shing Fung Chow

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8 Citations (Scopus)


The present study aimed to investigate how cocrystal solution-state stability may affect the polymorphic drug formation and transition during dissolution. In this work, curcumin-resorcinol (CUR-RES), curcumin-hydroquinone (CUR-HYQ) and curcumin-phloroglucinol (CUR-PHL) cocrystals were employed for dissolution studies in three buffer systems to study the effects of solvent and cocrystal thermodynamic stability. The undissolved solids were collected at designed time points and characterized by powder X-ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry and scanning electron microscopy. In pH 1.2 buffer, three cocrystals generated > 94% of metastable CUR form III with trace amount of stable CUR form I, while the phase purity of CUR form III recrystallized from buffers containing ethanol (EtOH) were decreased dramatically. For the same cocrystal, the cocrystal form maintained longer in the pH 1.2 buffer when compared with buffers containing EtOH. The phase purity of recrystallized CUR form III in the metastable cocrystal systems followed a linear relationship against CUR solubility, while the thermodynamically stable cocrystal resulted in a non-linear relationship. Due to different intermolecular interactions analyzed by 1H NMR, the stable cocrystal required a higher supersaturation level to precipitate pure CUR form III, in comparison to two metastable cocrystals. Our study offers important insights into mitigating the risk of recrystallization of drug polymorphs during cocrystal dissolution and demonstrates the potential use of cocrystals for drug polymorph preparation, both of which are crucial to the pharmaceutical cocrystal development and reformulation of existing drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121239
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2021


  • Cocrystal dissociation
  • Cocrystal solution-state stability
  • Curcumin
  • Intermolecular interaction
  • Polymorphism
  • Supersaturation


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