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Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis
Vol. 113, 2015, Pages: 226238

Analytical techniques for characterization of cyclodextrin complexes in the solid state: A review

Paola Mura

Department of Chemistry, School of Human Health Sciences, University of Florence, Via Schiff 6, Sesto Fiorentino, I-50019 Florence, Italy.


Cyclodextrins are cyclic oligosaccharides able to form inclusion complexes with a variety of hydrophobic guest molecules, positively modifying their physicochemical properties. A thorough analytical characterization of cyclodextrin complexes is of fundamental importance to provide an adequate support in selection of the most suitable cyclodextrin for each guest molecule, and also in view of possible future patenting and marketing of drug–cyclodextrin formulations. The demonstration of the actual formation of a drug–cyclodextrin inclusion complex in solution does not guarantee its existence also in the solid state. Moreover, the technique used to prepare the solid complex can strongly influence the properties of the final product. Therefore, an appropriate characterization of the drug–cyclodextrin solid systems obtained has also a key role in driving in the choice of the most effective preparation method, able to maximize host–guest interactions. The analytical characterization of drug–cyclodextrin solid systems and the assessment of the actual inclusion complex formation is not a simple task and involves the combined use of several analytical techniques, whose results have to be evaluated together.

The objective of the present review is to present a general prospect of the principal analytical techniques which can be employed for a suitable characterization of drug–cyclodextrin systems in the solid state, evidencing their respective potential advantages and limits. The applications of each examined technique are described and discussed by pertinent examples from literature.

Graphical abstract

eywords: Cyclodextrin; Inclusion complex; Thermo-analytical techniques; X-ray diffraction; Spectroscopic techniques.

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