Purpose. The aim of this paper is to understand at a given temperature (1) the role of template films, the droplet volume of a saturated sulfathiazole aqueous solution and the solvent on polymorph screening of sulfathiazole on a silicon wafer, and (2) the effect of template films on the acetaminophen crystal face at the template-crystal interface. Materials and Methods. Template Effect: Spun cast template films of non-annealed chitosan and annealed chitosan at 140°C on silicon wafers were prepared. A 0.01-cm3 saturated sulfathiazole aqueous solution droplets were deposited on both kinds of chitosan film. Sulfathiazole crystals were produced on those films by evaporation at 25°C. Volume Effect: Different droplet volumes of a saturated sulfathiazole aqueous solution ranging from 0.01 to 0.14 to 2.7 cm3 were deposited on non-annealed chitosan films. Sulfathiazole crystals were generated on those films by evaporation at 25°C. Solvent Effect: 0.01 cm3 saturated sulfathiazole methanol solution droplets were deposited on non-annealed chitosan films and sulfathiazole crystals were formed on those films by evaporation at 25°C. The formation pathways of different sulfathiazole crystal polymorphs of the above mentioned effects were analyzed and verified by systematic studies. Template-crystal Interfacial Study: Millimeter-sized acetaminophen crystals were successfully grown on non-annealed chlorosulfonated poly(ethylene) (PE-Chl) and chitosan template films by cooling the saturated acetaminophen aqueous solution from 50 to 25°C in which those template films were immersed. The bonding energies for specific carbons collected by electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis (ESCA) at the acetaminophen crystal surface, together with the molecular interactions between acetaminophen and PE-Chl and between acetaminophen and chitosan in separately prepared solid dispersion film samples detected by Fourier transformed infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, proved to be useful for identifying the crystal face of acetaminophen essential for its specific intermolecular interactions at the template-crystal interface. Results. Thermodynamically metastable sulfathiazole Form I crystals were reproducibly obtained on the non-annealed chitosan films whereas the stable sulfathiazole Form III crystals were repeatedly formed on the annealed chitosan films. Droplet volumes and solvents were also found responsible for the polymorphic outcome of sulfathiazole in the kinetically driven area of two overlapping metastable zones from two competing polymorphs of Form I and Form III. Thermodynamically stable sulfathiazole Form III crystals were formed on the non-annealed chitosan films instead when the droplet volumes of a saturated sulfathiazole aqueous solution were increased from 0.01 to 0.14 cm3 and 2.7 cm3. When the solvent was changed from water to methanol, the thermodynamically stable sulfathiazole Form III crystals were again observed on the non-annealed chitosan films even from the 0.01 cm3 saturated sulfathiazole methanol solution droplets. Conclusions. Template surfaces were thought to provide specific functional groups to either change the energy barrier for the nuclei formation of the thermodynamically metastable Form I or alter the droplet contact angle and the droplet surface area which was related to the droplet evaporation time. The evaporation time determines the amount of time available for the polymorphic transformation from Form I to Form III. Apparently, droplet volumes could also determine the amount of time needed to reach supersaturation and the amount of time available for a polymorphic transformation from Form I to Form III. In addition, the molecular conformation and viscosity of solvents such as methanol might alter the original nucleation kinetics in water and lead to a more rapid polymorphic transformation from Form I to Form III. Template films of PE-Chl and chitosan were found to be critical for determining the face of a millimeter-sized acetaminophen crystal at the template-crystal interface. The idea of performing polymorph screening on the template film deposited on a chip has opened up a new doorway to examine the roles of: (1) various kinds of drug carrier in the form of a template film, (2) the droplet volume of a saturated solution, and (3) the type of solvent used, in polymorphic control. Growing millimeter-sized crystals directly on the chip of template has also provided a convenient technology enabling platform for examining the crystal-template interface by solid-state characterization techniques such as ESCA.
- Chlorosulfonated poly(ethylene)
- Polymorph farming