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Suspensions

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Definition
Coarse dispersion in which insoluble solid particles are
dispersed in a liquid medium is called as suspension.
The internal phase consisting of insoluble solid particles
(0.5-5microns),maintained uniformly throughout the
suspending vehicle with aid of simple or combination of
suspending agents.
external phase (suspending medium) is aqueous in
some instance, may be an organic or oily liquid.
Drugs in suspension exhibits higher rate of
bioavailability than other dosage forms.
Solutions > Suspensions > Capsule > Compressed
tablets > Coated tablets
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Properties
The dispersed particles should have a size that they
dont settle down rapidly.
If sedimentation occurs, it must not form a hard cake.
It must be capable of redispersion with minimum efforts.
The product should be easy to take i.e. pleasant in taste
and resistant to microbial agents.
Suspensions are heterogenous systems consisting of
two phases, the continuous phase is a liquid or
semisolid and the dispersed or internal phase is made
up of particulate matter. The dispersoids size must be
greater than 0.1 microns.
It must not too viscous to pour.
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Coarse Suspension:
Suspensions having particle size
greater than 1micron in diameter.
Nano Suspension:
Suspensions are the biphasic
colloidal dispersions of nanosized
drug particles stabilized by
surfactants. Size of the suspending
particles is less than the 1nm.
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Problems of Suspension:
Adequate dispersion of particles in
vehicle.
Settling of dispersed particles.
Caking of particles in the sediment
so act to resist redispersion.

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Preparation of
Suspension
Small Scale Preparation of Suspension:
Suspensions are prepared by grinding or
levigating the insoluble materials in the mortar
to a smooth paste with a vehicle containing a
wetting agent.
All soluble ingredients are dissolved in same
portion of the vehicle and added to the smooth
paste to step 1 to get slurry.
Slurry is transformed to a graduated cylinder,
the mortar is rinsed with successive portion of
the vehicle.
Errors and Ommissions are
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Preparation of
Suspension
Decide whether the solids are
Suspended in soluble vehicle
Flocculated
Flocculated and then Suspended
Add the vehicle containing the
suspending agent or flocculating
agent.
Make the suspension to the final
volume.
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Stability of Suspensions
Velocity of Sedimentation:
According to strokes law, velocity of
sedimentation of a particle is given
by
V = D2 (d1-d2)g/18
Greater is the velocity of
sedimentation, greater would be the
settling rate and more chances of
caking and lesser would be the
stability of suspension.
Errors and Ommissions are
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Stability of Suspensions
Physical Features of dispersed
Phase of Suspension:
Particle size should be between 1-50
m. Reduce the particle size but not
too fine as fine particles have a
tendency to form a compact cake.

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Stability of Suspensions
Addition of Suspending Agents:
Suspending agents are added e.g.
CMC, bentonite, veegum. These
agents thicken up the suspension
and build up a structure.

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Stability of Suspensions
Reconstitution of Suspensions:
Suspensions can be stabilized to some extent by
reconstitution method for a short period.
In this method active agent, preservative, sweetening
agents and coloring agents are mixed until a
homogenous mixture is formed.
This powder containing a specified dose is packed in
bottle.
Now for use medicinally, already boiled, cooled water is
added in bottle upto a certain mark and shaked until
powder is suspended e.g. tetracycline suspension after
reconstitution contain 125mg of tetracycline per 5ml of
total suspension.
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Stability of Suspensions
Addition of
Flocculating and
Deflocculating
Agent:
Addition of
flocculating and
deflocculating
agents is
frequently
monitored by
measurement of
Errors and Ommissions are
zeta potential of Expected

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Stability of Suspensions
Electrolytes act as flocculating agents by
reducing the electrical barrier between the
particles, decreasing zeta potential and
formation of a bridge between adjacent
particles so as to link them together in a
loosely arranged structure.
For example; the changes in bismith
subnitrate suspension on the addition of
basic potassium phosphate as show in
figure.
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Reconstitution of
Suspensions
Suspensions can be stabilized to some extent by
reconstitution method for a short period.
In this method active agent, preservative,
sweetening agents and coloring agents are mixed
until a homogenous mixture is formed.
This powder containing a specified dose is packed in
bottle.
Now for use medicinally, already boiled, cooled water
is added in bottle upto a certain mark and shaked
until powder is suspended e.g. tetracycline
suspension after reconstitution contain 125mg of
tetracycline per 5ml of total suspension.
Errors and Ommissions are
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Extemporaneous Suspension
Such suspensions are prepared just
before dispensing to the patients.
Often parenteral antibiotic suspensions
are prepared by this method.
These suspensions cannot be stored for
a long time.
For preparation of such suspensions
good quality suspending agents are used
which are less liable to microbial attack.
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Extemporaneous suspensions;
1. Should be readily and uniformly incorporated.
2. Can be easily dispersed in water or other vehicles
without any special equipment.
3. Should not affect the rate of release of drug and also its
absorption.
4. Should be inert, non-toxic and free from any interaction
with other components of suspensions.
5. For example; sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, veegum,
microcrystalline cellulose etc. are good suspending
agent for extemporaneous suspensions. Some others
are sodium starch, magnesium silicate etc.
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Settling of Suspensions
Settling of suspensions is affected by factors present in Stocks
Law of sedimentation.
V = D2 (d1-d2)g/18
1. Free Settling:
Free settling occurs in suspensions which are very dilute i.e.
dispersed particles are not under the influence of each other.
2. Hindered Settling:
Hindered settling occurs in concentrated suspension i.e.
dispersed particles are under the influence of each other. So, in
this case stocks law is not applicable.
3. Effect of Brownian movement (critical diameter 2-5m):
Upto a Brownian movement keeps the particles suspended due to
bombardment of molecules of suspending medium on the
dispersoids particles thus keeping them in random motion.
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Settling of Deflocculated
Particles
In a completely deflocculated system, the particles are
not associated and particles settle under gravitational
force.
So according to stocks law larger particles settle down
more rapidly than the smaller particles.
No clear boundary is formed (unless only one size
particles are present) and supernatant remains turbid
for a considerable period of time.
In the more underlying layer, the pressure on the
underlying particles leads to close pealing to such an
extent that these are strongly bounded together and
dense cake is formed at the bottom which is difficult to
re-disperse.
Errors and Ommissions are
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Settling of Flocculated
Particles
Settling of flocculated particles is also called
as subsidence.
Caking may be minimized by production of a
flocculated system.
he flocci are clusters of particles held together
in a loose open structure. In this, the repulsion
barrier has been reduced and particles dont
settle as individual particles but in the form of
flocci producing a distinct boundary between
supernatant and sediment.
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Settling of flocculated particles is


determined;
1. Primarily by flocs size and porosity
of aggregated mass.
2. Subsequently by compaction and
rearrangement process within the
sediment.

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Settling and Electrical Double


Layer
Electrical double layer is
formed around a particle
when it is dispersed in a
dispersion medium
containing cations and
anions in it.
If particles are negatively
charged, cations become
adsorbed on the surface
of a particle.
These adsorbed ions are
called as potential
determining ions.
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Due to the attraction of positive ions adsorbed


towards anions, a layer of anions is constructed
around the particle surface and is called stern layer.
Ions present in this layer are called as counter ions
or gegenions.
This layer is very tightly bound to particles and is
called as shear plane.
After this fixed layer of stern there is a layer of ions
which is mobile and has both negative and positive
ions in it and is called as Guoys diffused layer.

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After diffused layer there is equal distribution of positive and


negative ions and this portion is electrically neutral.
The potential difference between the shear plane and
electrically neutral portion of solution is zeta or electrical
potential () and is due to gegenions.
Between these suspended particles following forces are
operating.
Vander Waals attractive forces.
Repulsive forces due to interaction of electrical double layers.
Those particles lowest in sediment are gradually pressed
together by the weight of ones above, the energy barrier
Vmax is thus overcome, allowing the particles to come into
close contact with each other, and hard cake is formed.
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In order to resuspend, the particles Vmax must be


overcome which cannot be done by agitation.
When the particles are flocculated, the energy is
still the large to be achieved and so the
approaching particles reside in the second
energy minimum (particle I) which is at a
distance sufficient to form the loosely structural
flocs.
These flocs settle rapidly but dont form hard
cake and can be redispersed by little agitation.

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Sedimentation
Parameters
1. Height of Flocculation
2. Degree of Flocculation
.The sedimentation volume R is defined as the
ration of the final volume of sediment V f to the
original volume of suspension Vo before settling.
.R = Vf / Vo
.Sedimentation volume can have values ranging
from less than 1 to greater than 1.
.R is normally less than 1 and in this case, the
ultimate volume of sediment is smaller than
original volume of suspension.
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Sedimentation
Parameters
If we consider a suspension that is completely
deflocculated, the ultimate volume of sediment will be
relatively small and writing this volume as V then we have,
R = V / Vo
Degree of flocculation is therefore defined as the ratio
of R to R i.e.
= R / R
= Vf / Vo / V / Vo
= Vf / V
Therefore,
= final sediment vol. of flocculated suspension / final
sediment vol. of deflocculated suspension.
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Applications of
Suspensions
Drugs which are insoluble in water and facilities
of tablets and capsules are not available, can
be easily formulated in the form of suspension.
Disagreeable taste of drug can ve masked.
Less equipment is required.
Easily swallowed.
It can be prepared first before dispensing.
More stable than solutions chemically.
Because of its liquid form, suspensions ensure
uniformity of dosage if shaken well before use.
Errors and Ommissions are
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