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Specification of vertical diffusion

The Vertical Diffusion Cell or Franz Cell is a simple, reproducible test for measuring the drug release from creams, ointments and gels. It is rapidly emerging as the apparatus of choice for the in vitro testing of drug release of topical semisolid dosage forms.

The cell comprises two parts: (a) the donor chamber containing the sample to be tested and (b) the receptor chamber containing the receptor medium.
The two parts are separated by a membrane designed to act as a conduit for diffusion to take place and which serves to contain the test sample whilst ensuring that it remains in contact with the receptor medium.
The receptor temperature is usually set to 32 degrees C to approximate normal skin conditions. Normally, no fewer than 6 samples are taken over a 6 hour period - say, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 hours - and analysed using HPLC or similar analytical technique.
The results are expressed as the amount of drug released per unit membrane area (mcg/cm2) vs square root of time (minutes), which should yield a straight line.
The slope of the line (regression) represents the release rate of the product.

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