Microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) has emerged as the most resourceful excipient of all times in drug research. Thanks to its profusion in terms of grades available for different needs and its physical properties that support a variety of functionality requirements especially for the most frequently used unit dosage forms. MCC can be used as a bulking agent, disintegrant, binder, lubricant, and glidant besides being a stability enhancer and a secondary suspending agent. It can be used in direct compression of most drugs and saves material, capital, equipment, and labor. Its ever increasing applications in drug research include its utility in immediate release (tablets and liquids) dosage forms, sustained release dosage forms (multiparticulates and matrix tablets), topical preparations, oral liquids, organoleptic enhancements as in chewable and mouth dissolving tablets, anti-reß ux, and nutraceuticals. The review discusses these applications in sufÞ cient detail citing examples and investigating the justiÞ cations for such functions.
Key words: Avicel, direct compression, extrusion, microcrystalline cellulose, multiparticulates, wet granulation.