Correlating Single Crystal Structure, Nanomechanical, and Bulk Compaction Behavior of Febuxostat Polymorphs

Febuxostat exhibits unprecedented solid forms with a total of 40 polymorphs and pseudopolymorphs reported. Polymorphs differ in molecular arrangement and conformation, intermolecular interactions, and various physicochemical properties, including mechanical properties. Febuxostat Form Q (FXT Q) and Form H1 (FXT H1) were investigated for crystal structure, nanomechanical parameters, and bulk deformation behavior. FXT Q showed greater compressibility, densification, and plastic deformation as compared to FXT H1 at a given compaction pressure. Lower mechanical hardness of FXT Q (0.214 GPa) as compared to FXT H1 (0.310 GPa) was found to be consistent with greater compressibility and lower mean yield pressure (38 MPa) of FXT Q. Superior compaction behavior of FXT Q was attributed to the presence of active slip systems in crystals which offered greater plastic deformation. By virtue of greater compressibility and densification, FXT Q showed higher tabletability over FXT H1. Significant correlation was found with anticipation that the preferred orientation of molecular planes into a crystal lattice translated nanomechanical parameters to a bulk compaction process. Moreover, prediction of compactibility of materials based on true density or molecular packing should be carefully evaluated, as slip-planes may cause deviation in the structure–property relationship. This study supported how molecular level crystal structure confers a bridge between particle level nanomechanical parameters and bulk level deformation behavior.