Cellular automata model for drug release from binary matrix and reservoir polymeric devices

Timo Johannes Laaksonen, Hannu Mikael Laaksonen, Jouni Tapio Hirvonen, Lasse Murtomaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Kinetics of drug release from polymeric tablets, inserts and implants is an important and widely studied area. Here we present a new and widely applicable cellular automata model for diffusion and erosion processes occurring during drug release from polymeric drug release devices. The model divides a 2D representation of the release device into an array of cells. Each cell contains information about the material, drug, polymer or solvent that the domain contains. Cells are then allowed to rearrange according to statistical rules designed to match realistic drug release. Diffusion is modeled by a random walk of mobile cells and kinetics of chemical or physical processes by probabilities of conversion from one state to another. This is according to the basis of diffusion coefficients and kinetic rate constants, which are on fundamental level just probabilities for certain occurrences. The model is applied to three kinds of devices with different release mechanisms: erodable matrices, diffusion through channels or pores and membrane controlled release. The dissolution curves obtained are compared to analytical models from literature and the validity of the model is considered. The model is shown to be compatible with all three release devices, highlighting easy adaptability of the model to virtually any release system and geometry. Further extension and applications of the model are envisioned.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1978-1987
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Drug release
  • Dissolution
  • Cellular automata
  • Modeling
  • Percolation


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