Slowing the growth rate of ibuprofen crystals using the polymeric additive pluronic F127

Thomas Vetter, Marco Mazzotti, Jörg Brozio

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In the present study, the effect of the polymeric additive Pluronic F127 on the growth rate of Ibuprofen (IBU) crystals from ethanol-water mixtures and its temperature and additive concentration dependence is investigated quantitatively. It is found that the addition of Pluronic F127 (PF127) to the solvent mixture slows the growth rate. At a temperature of 15 °C and an initial supersaturation of 1.5, for instance, 4 and 8 wt % of PF127 lead to a growth rate of 70% and 55%, respectively, of the value without additive. To characterize the growth kinetics, seeded desupersaturation experiments are carried out and monitored using in situ measurement techniques such as attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy and focused beam reflectance measurement (FBRM). The solubility of IBU at different temperatures and PF127 concentrations is determined by using a multivariate calibration model for the ATR-FTIR signal. A population balance model describing the process is fitted to the experimental data by estimating parameters of the growth rate expression used. The growth rate was identified to be surface integration controlled. It is proposed that the additive causes changes in the growth rate due to isotropic adsorption of the polymer molecules on the crystal surfaces. The purity of the crystals grown in the presence of the additive is evaluated using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). It is shown that the PF127 used in the crystallization process is not incorporated into the crystals. © 2011 American Chemical Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3813-3821
    Number of pages8
    JournalCrystal Growth and Design
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2011


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