Novel Approaches of Polyherbal Matrix Tablet and its Evaluation Parameters


Neha Quadri1*, Md. Semimul Akhtar2

Department of Pharmaceutics SRMS CET (Pharmacy) Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, India

*Corresponding Author E-mail:



According to WHO, approximately 80 percent of people in developing countries still rely on traditional medicine, which is based primarily on plant and animal species, for primary health care. Because of the toxicity and side effects of allopathic drugs, herbal therapy is becoming more popular. Medicinal plants are crucial in the development of powerful therapeutic agents. Natural products derived from plants, animals, and minerals have long been used to treat human disease Plant medicines are frequently used in combination rather than alone to maximise the benefit of their combined strength. Because of synergism, polyherbalism provides a variety of benefits not found in single herbal formulations. Polymers are the building blocks of a pharmaceutical drug delivery system because they control drug release from the device. Polymers are used to protect drugs from the physiological environment and to extend their release time in order to improve their stability. This review focuses on matrix tablets, which are one of the most practical methods for developing sustained-release dosage forms, as well as the approaches used in their formulation and evaluation. The therapeutic efficacy of a sustained release matrix tablet with improved efficacy can be increased. It also emphasizes the significance of polyherbalism and matrix Tablet.


KEYWORDS: Polyherbal, Matrix tablet, Sustained release, hydrophobic polymer and hydrophilic polymer.




Current trends for living a long and healthy life are completely reliant on because the powerful phytochemical elements of individual plants are insufficient to deliver the desired therapeutic impact, a combination of multiple herbs (polyherbal) in a certain ratio will provide a desirable therapeutic effect.1 When combining the multiple herbs in a particular ratio, it will give a better therapeutic effect and reduce the toxicity.2 According to the World Health Organization, over 80% of the world's population still relies on traditional or Ayurvedic remedies for their healthy survival.3 Bioavailability of  herbal drug is lower, to improved the bioavailability of drug sustain release tablet are formulated by adding polymer. Long-acting (sustained-release).


Dosage forms are pharmaceutical dosage forms that are designed to release (liberate) a medication at a specified rate in order to maintain a steady drug concentration for a set length of time with minimal adverse effects. Matrix tablets are a handy way to consume long-acting oral medications.4 To disseminate solid particles within a porous matrix made up of hydrophilic and hydrophobic polymers, wet granulation or direct compression methods can be used. The availability of several types of polymers for controlling drug release has become the most important aspect of matrix tablet construction.5 The majority of oral sustained release delivery systems are solid dosage forms that modulate drug release by diffusion, dissolution, or a combination of both modes6.


Advantages of Sustained Release Dosage Forms

·       Improved efficacy/safety ratio.

·       Reduced drug plasma level fluctuation.

·       Reduction the total dose.

·       Improvement of deficiency in treatment.6,7


Figure 1: Peak plasma concentration profile


Disadvantages of Sustained Release Dosage Forms

·       Dose dumping.

·       Stability problem.

·       Needs of additional patient education.8,9


Peroral Sustained Release Formulation Design Strategy

Peroral sustained release formulations are classified into the following classes based on the mechanism of drug release.10,11

·       Dissolution controlled extended release formulations.

o   Matrix dissolution control.

o   Reservoir dissolution control.

·       Diffusion controlled sustained release formulations.

o   Matrix diffusion control.

o   Reservoir diffusion control.

·       Osmotic-controlled sustained release formulations.

·       Ion exchange resin-based sustained release formulations.

·       pH– independent release formulations.

·       Gastro retentive formulations.12


Matrix Tablet:

When an active drug is homogeneously dispersed (embedded) in an inert material, a matrix tablet is formed. Matrix materials are frequently polymers that are either swellable hydrophilic or non-swellable hydrophobic. The rate of drug release is influenced by material properties such as diffusion, permeation, and dissolution13, 14.


Advantages of matrix systems:

·       Patient compliance has improved as a result of less frequent drug administration.15

·       Reduced variation in steady-state drug levels.

·       The drug should be used to its full potential.

·       A potent drug's safety margin has been increased.16

Disadvantages of the matrix systems:

·       After the drug has been released, the remaining matrix must be removed.17

·       Greater reliance on the GI residence time of the dosage form.

·       Delayed onset of drug action.


Classification of Matrix Tablets:

Based on the retardant material used:

Hydrophilic matrix tablet:

Hydrophilic matrix may be formulated by a wet granulation of the drug and hydrophilic matrix materials or by direct compression of the blended mixture of certain hydrophilic carriers and active ingredient20. The hydrophilic matrixes have several advantages, including ease of manufacture, cost effectiveness, matrix tablet uniformity, and broad regulatory acceptance.18


Table 1 lists the various polymers used in the preparation of hydrophilic matrices.19


Table 1 .shows the polymers used to make hydrophilic matrices.



Cellulose derivatives

methylcellulose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, and carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC)Hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HPMC)25, 100, 4000 and 15000 cps,

Natural or semisynthetic polymers

Agar-agar, Carob Gum, Alginates, Molasses, Polysaccharides of galactose and mannose, Chitosan and Modified starches.Silk

Polymers of acrylic acid

Carbopol 934

Other hydrophilic materials

Alginic acid, gelatin and  natural gums


Hydrophobic matrices (Plastic matrix tablet):

Direct compression of the drug with plastic materials disperses the active drug in a tablet within a porous skeletal structure in hydrophobic matrix tablets, provided the plastic materials can be granulated to the desired particle size to facilitate mixing with the drug particle. The following methods can be used to granulate for tablet compression: 21

a) The drug and plastic powder can be mixed and kneaded in an organic solvent with a solution of the same plastic material or other binding agents, and then granulated.

b) An organic solvent can be used to dissolve the drug in the plastic, which can then be granulated after the solvent evaporates22.


Fat-wax matrix tablet:

Spray congealing in the air, blend congealing in an aqueous media with or without the aid of the surfactant, and spray-drying techniques can all be used to incorporate the drug into fat wax granules23.


Biodegradable matrices:

Polymers are made up of monomers that are linked to one another via functional groups and have an unstable linkage in the backbone24.


Mineral matrices:

These types of matrices are made up of polymers derived from various seaweed species. Alginic acid, for example, is a hydrophilic carbohydrate obtained from brown seaweed species using dilute alkali25, 26.


Based on the porosity of the matrix:

According to their porosity matrix systems can be classified as


Macroporous systems:

Drug diffusion occurs in these systems through matrix pores ranging in size from 0.1 to 1 m. This pore size is larger than the size of the diffusant molecule27.


Microporous system:

Drug diffusion occurs primarily through pores in this system. Pore size in microporous systems ranges between 50 and 200 A°, which is slightly larger than the size of diffusant molecules.


Non - porous system:

There are no pores in these systems, and the molecules diffuse through the network meshes. In this case, there is only the polymeric phase and no pore phase28.


Based on the method of matrix preparations:

Floating matrix system:

The bulk density of the matrix in this type of matrix system is lower than the gastric fluid in the stomach. After creating buoyancy in the stomach, drug molecules from the matrix can be released slowly, extending gastric residence time and thus increasing the bioavailability of fast release drug molecules29.


pH sensitive matrix system :

An enteric coating of the matrix system in this type of matrix system can protect the drug from the harsh acidic media of the stomach. As a result, low pH sensitive drug molecules can safely enter the small intestine and colon. This matrix system works by releasing the enteric coated drug at a specific high pH value in the GIT, where drug absorption can occur30.


Mucoadhesive matrix system:

Mucoadhesive matrix systems are designed to allow for prolonged retention in the gastric region for several hours, significantly extending drug gastric residence time. Bioavailability is improved by prolonged gastric retention. The drug's release is controlled over time in this type of matrix system31.


Drug Properties That Make Them Suitable For Sustained Release Matrix:

Biological properties:

Biological Half-Life:

Active therapeutic drugs with short half-lives are ideal candidates for sustained release formulations because they reduce dosing frequency. Drugs with half-lives less than 2 hours are generally poor candidates for sustained-release formulations. Drugs with long half-lives (more than 8 hours) are also not commonly used in sustained release formulations because their effect is already sustained32.



The absorption rate constant is an apparent rate constant that should actually be the drug's release rate constant from the dosage form. Drugs with true lower absorption rate constants will be poor candidates for system maintenance33.



Chloroquine and other drugs with a high apparent volume of distribution, which influences the rate of elimination, are poor candidates for oral sustained release formulations.



Drug metabolism prior to absorption, whether in the lumen or tissue of the intestine, can result in lower bioavailability from slower-releasing dosage forms. Most enzyme systems in the intestinal wall are saturable. Because the drug is released at a slower rate to these regions, less total drug is presented to the enzymatic process during a given time period, allowing for complete drug conversion to metabolites.


Physicochemical properties34:

Dose size:

In general, a single dose of 0.5-1.0gm is considered maximal for an oral administration of a conventional dosage form. This is also true for long-acting dosage forms.


Aqueous solubility:

Drugs with extremely low solubility (less than 0.01mg/ml) are naturally sustained. The lower limit for the solubility of a drug to be formulated in a sustained-release system is 0.1mg/ml; thus, the solubility of the drug will limit the choice of mechanism to be used in the sustained delivery system35.


Partition coefficient:

During the time between drug administration and elimination from the body, the drug must cross a number of biological membranes in order to produce a therapeutic effect in another area of the body.



Oral drugs can be subjected to both acid-base hydrolysis and enzymatic degradation. Drugs that are unstable in the stomach benefit from systems that extend delivery over the entire course of transits in the GI tract36.


pKa, Ionization and aqueous solubility:

The majority of drugs are weak acids or bases. While drugs in unchanged form permeate across for drug permeation, offering the drug in an unchanged form is advantageous37.


Protein binding:

The vast majority of drugs are either weak acids or bases. While drugs in their original form permeate across for drug permeation, offering the drug in its original form is advantageous37.


Table 2 shows the values of the release exponents and the corresponding drug release mechanism.

Release exponent (n)

Mechanism of drug release


Fickian diffusion

0.5 < n < 1

Anomalous transport


Case-II transport


Polymers used in matrix tablet :

Table 3. lists the various polymers used in the preparation of matrix tablets.


Table 3. The polymers most widely used in preparing matrix system 39





Hydrophilic Polymers


Hydroxypropylmethyl cellulose (HPMC), hydroxypropylcellulose (HPC), hydroxylethyl cellulose (HEC), xanthan gum, sodium alginate, poly (ethylene oxide), acrylic acid cross-linked homopolymers and copolymers.



Polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, methyl acrylate, methacrylate copolymer,ethyl cellulose.



Carnauba wax, candelilla wax, beeswax, microcrystalline wax, and paraffin waxes are all examples of waxes.

Insoluble polymers


Ammonium methacrylate copolymers (Eudragit RL100, RS100), ethyl cellulose, cellulose acetate propionate, cellulose acetate butyrate, and methacrylic ester copolymer latex dispersion.


Factors Affecting Drug Release from Matrix Systems:

Drug-related factors:

Drug solubility:

Diffusion of the drug is dependent on the concentration gradient across the medium, which is a function of solubility; thus, a drug with high solubility releases faster, where as poorly water soluble drugs (0.01mg/ml) frequently result in incomplete release due to their poor solubility and dissolution rate in the matrix40.


Drug content:

Due to the large amounts of polymer and other matrix formers required, drugs with large dose sizes (> 500mg) are difficult to formulate into a matrix system (excipients).


Molecular weight and size:

Because of the constraint imposed by the aqueous gel structure, drugs with molecular weights greater than 5000 Dalton are thought to have poor diffusion through hydrophilic matrices.


Particle size and shape:

Particle size and shape of soluble drugs also influence drug release due to differences in effective surface area and thus intrinsic dissolution rate


Polymer-related factors:

Polymer type:

The type of polymer has a significant impact on drug release from the matrix. Water-soluble polymers and water-insoluble polymers are the two types of polymers used in the development of extended release matrices.


Polymer viscosity grade:

At a constant polymer level, the viscosity of the polymer chosen influences matrix performance by influencing the diffusional and mechanical properties of the gel layer. Higher viscosity polymers hydrate quickly and form a mechanically stable gel layer. Fast-hydrating polymers gel quickly, reducing initial dosage dumping and increasing the release duration.41


Polymer proportion:

With different levels of polymers, the drug release profile from the matrix system can be varied. As the polymer level rises, so does the viscosity of the gel layer, which lengthens the diffusion path. This could reduce drug release by decreasing the diffusion co-efficient of the drug.


Polymer particle properties:

It was discovered that decreasing particle size resulted in a smaller burst effect and longer lag times. The explanation was based on the smaller particles swelling faster, allowing the gel barrier to form quickly.


Polymer combination:

A combination of polymers can result in synergistic retardation of drug release from matrix tablets. This synergism could be owing to the individual polymers' molecular physical interactions.


Formulation related factors:

Formulation geometry (Size and Shape of tablet): The drug dissolution rate can be affected by the size and shape of a tablet formulated as a matrix system exhibiting both diffusional and erosional release. In order to achieve the lowest possible release rate, tablet matrices should be manufactured as spherical as possible.42


Process variables:

The release of metoprolol tartrate from formulations developed using the direct compression technique was reported to be faster than that obtained from formulations developed using the fluid-bed and high-shear granulation techniques. The hardness and thickness of the tablets are significantly affected by increasing the compression force.


Formulation Additives:

Preformulation studies of possible excipient interactions in solid dosage forms are required because these interactions can affect drug release and bioavailability. Soluble fillers improve soluble drug dissolution by shortening the diffusional path, whereas insoluble fillers reduce diffusion rate by blocking the surface pores of the tablet.


Methods of Preparation:

There are three commercially available methods for producing compressed tablets: 43


The Direct Compression Method:

The medicinal agent is combined with a compressible vehicle, as well as, if necessary, a lubricant and a disintegrate, and compressed. Anhydrous lactose, dicalcium phosphate (Emcompress), granulated mannitol, microcrystalline cellulose (Avicel), compressible sugar (Di-Pac), starch (Sta-Rx 1500), hydrolyzed starch (Celutab), and a mixture of sugar, invert sugar, starch, and magnesium stearate are all commonly used as directly compressible vehicles (Nutab)


The Dry Granulation Method (Slugging Method):

On heavy duty tablet machines, the formulation's ingredients are thoroughly mixed and pre-compressed. The formed slug is ground to a uniform size before being compressed into the finished tablet.


The Wet Granulation Method:

This method requires more operational manipulations and takes longer than the others. Drugs that are thermolabile or hydrolysable by the presence of water in the liquid binder are not suited for wet granulation. The general steps in a wet granulation process are as follows.44


The granules are dried in an oven or a fluidized bed drier.


The dried granules are screened to a compressible size.


The granulation is mixed with a lubricant and a disintegrating agent.


The granulation is compacted into the final tablet.45



Preformulation studies of Granules:

Angle of repose:

The Angle of repose was tested by the fixed funnel method. A glass funnel was used to pour the 5 g powder combination. The lower tip of the glass funnel was 5 cm height from the ground.45 The height (h) and radius (r) of pile were measured and then calculated as follow: 46

θ = tan−1h/r

θ = angle of repose (°)

h = height (cm)

r = radius (cm)

Bulk density:

The 20 g powder mixture was precisely weighed and gently poured into a 100 ml glass cylinder without compacting. The volume of the powder mixture was measured and calculated as follows:

Bulk density = m/v0 where m denotes mass (g) and V0 denotes unsettled apparent volume (cm3).


Tapped density:

To test tapped density, a glass cylinder with a powder mixture from bulk density testing was used. It was tapped for 1,250 strokes with a tapped density tester (Erweka D-63150, Germany). The volume of the tapped powder mixture was measured and the volume was calculated as follows:

Taped density = M/vf where m = mass (g) and Vf = final tapped volume (cm3)47.


Carr’s index:

Data from bulk density and tapped density testing were used to calculate compressibility index follow:

(Tapped density – Bulk density)/ Tapped density]100 is the compressibility index.


Hausner’s ratio:

It is a direct indicator of how easy it is to measure the flow of powder. The Hausner ratio was computed as follows: Vo/Vf = Hausner ratio V0 denotes the unsettled apparent volume (cm3), while Vf denotes the final tapped volume (cm3).


Evaluation Test

Weight variation:

Weight variation 20 tablets are  to be taken individually accurately weighed. Each tablet weight is recorded. Results is reported as mean±standard deviation (SD) in mg48, 49.



The tablets dust was removed before testing. 10 tablets were accurately weighed together, and friability was tested using a Roach Friability tester (K.S.L. Engineering, Thailand). After 4 min of rotation at 25 rpm, any loose dust from the tablets was removed before accurately weighing again. If friability was not more than 1.0%, it was considered acceptable. % friability = (W1-W2) / W1 × 10050.



Tablet requires some amount of strength and resistant to friability to mechanical shock of handling in manufacture, packaging, and shipping.51 Hardness is thus sometimes termed as the crushing strength.17 10 tablets were measured using a hardness tester (Digital tablet Hardness tester IKON Delhi). Results were reported as mean±SD in kilopond (KP) units.52


Disintegration Time:

For most tablets, the first important step toward solution is break down of the tablet into smaller particles a process known as disintegration.53 The DT of the tablet was determined in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) buffer (PH 7.4) at 37 ± 0.5°C using a Veego Disintegration Tester.54



Thickness of tablet was calculated by Digital Vernier calipers. Tablet was put in between jaws and measured thickness and 6 tablets were used for this test and unit expressed in mm.55


In-vitro Dissolution Test:

The drug release from the tablet was studied using the USP type II rotating paddle method. The dissolution medium was 900 mL of pH 6.8 phosphate buffer. The release test was carried out at a temperature of 37 0.5°C and a rotating speed of 50 rpm. To maintain sink conditions, aliquots were taken at regular intervals and replenished with fresh medium. The samples were filtered with appropriate phosphate buffer dilutions and spectrophotometrically analysed.56



Herbal products may comprise a single herb or a combination of herbs with complimentary and/or synergistic effects. Polyherbal promotes patient compliance while delivering safe and effective results. The benefits and limitations of continuous release matrix tablets, as well as the numerous polymers utilised to manufacture such systems, were the focus of this review article. Based on the preceding, we can conclude that a sustained release matrix tablet can solve the issues associated with traditional oral drug delivery, improve patient compliance, and improve the efficiency of the dosage form. Bioavailability of herbal drug is lower, to improved the bioavailability of drug sustain release tablet are formulated by adding polymer. Long-acting (sustained-release) Dosage forms are pharmaceutical dosage forms that are designed to release (liberate) a medication at a specified rate in order to maintain a steady drug concentration for a set length of time with minimal adverse effects. Matrix tablets that release the medicine in a regulated manner can be successfully prepared using a variety of matrix forming polymers. The formulation of matrix tablets can be done in a simple and cost-effective manner. As a result, sustained-release matrix tablet dosage form design is being refined. The Sustain Release Matrix Technology is a revolutionary medication delivery system that has the potential to be useful in the future.



Authors would like to thanks Shri Ram Murti Smarak College of Engineering and Technology Department of Pharmacy, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, India for giving an idea to research and survey about Matrix tablet employed in this review.



The authors declared no conflict of interest



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Received on 27.10.2021             Modified on 06.12.2021

Accepted on 01.01.2022           © RJPT All right reserved

Research J. Pharm. and Tech 2022; 15(12):5793-5799.

DOI: 10.52711/0974-360X.2022.00978