The mechanical response of alginate rafts formed by mixing liquid alginate antacid medication (Gaviscon® Extra Strength Liquid Antacid) with acidic solutions was investigated by deforming isolated rafts in a shear rheometer. As rafts were deformed to varying magnitudes of applied strain, rheological parameters were identified and related to the overall strength, durability, and recoverability of rafts formed at different pH (1.1 – 1.7) and aging conditions (0.5 – 4 hr). Rafts formed in the lowest acidity solutions (pH 1.4, 1.7) were elastically weak (G0 = 60, 42 Pa for un-aged raft) yet maintained their elasticity during applied shear deformation to large values of strain (γc~ 90%, 50%, where G’G’’), and displayed a low-to-moderate level of elastic recovery following large-strain deformation. Rafts formed in the highest acidity solution had the greatest strength (G0 = 500 Pa for un-aged raft and 21.5 kPa for rafts after 0.5 hr of aging), reduced durability (γc~ 2.5%, independent of aging), and displayed the greatest recoverability. A trade-off existed between un-aged raft strength and durability while recovery was dependent on durability, solution pH, and age. Rheometry-based evaluations of alginate rafts could be used for the informed design of future gastric retention and antacid products.


This is the author's accepted manuscript version of Elliott, B.M., Steckbeck, K.E., Murray, L.F., Erk, K.A. (November 2013). Rheologivcal investigation of the shear strength, durability, and recovery of alginate rafts formed by antacid medication in varying pH environments. International Journal of Pharmaceutics. 457: 1 (118-123). http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2013.09.034


alginate; alginate raft; mechanical properties; rheology; ionic crosslinking; acid-reflux; shear stress

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