Microcrystalline cellulose powder tableting via networked cellulose-based gel material
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Networked cellulosic (NC) gel material was prepared via 70% sulfuric acid dissolution and hydrolysis of microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) followed by regeneration in cold ethanol. The material was utilized as a multifunctional excipient for drug tablets production. Placebo tablets were prepared via slip-casting of simple formulas containing different concentrations of NC. The hardness of the prepared tablets was measured using tablet hardness tester and increased over a wide range and up to 420 N. It was noticed that the hardness is mainly dependent on NC material concentration in the formulation. Furthermore, high tablet hardness was observed using tablet friability tester. Paracetamol tablets of 30 mg label claim were prepared in a similar way. Despite their high hardness, the tablets showed a full drug release capability over time and up to 24 h. The release time was also influenced by the NC concentration. Content uniformity and mass variation testing of these tablets have confirmed the product homogeneity and proved the efficiency of slip-casting as a tablets production technique.