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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer

Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms

For all DPI formulations, particle size distribution of the powders is key. The processing of these powders, giving them the desired properties, is a major concern for the selection of suitable technologies. Many aspects, such as technology and processing parameters, must be assessed, tuned, and balanced in order to achieve the desired results. Flowability As with many unit operations, flowability is an important property when choosing the most suitable mixing technology. The flowability is influenced by:
  • Particle size
  • Shape of the particles
  • Electrostatic charges
  • Adhesion
  • Cohesion

A general guideline is that the more cohesive the material, the higher the mixing intensity required to get a homogeneous mix. This starting point is used in many industries and in many applications (see Figure 1).

Examples of mixing free flowing powders can be found readily in pharmaceutical products, but also in many food and chemical products. In some cases, not only is low shear mixing suitable, but it may even be necessary for the products to apply a limited amount of mixing energy to the powder in order to avoid attrition or temperature effects. Low Shear Mixing In pharma products, low shear mixing technologies are used for mixing oral products, but also for mixing heat-sensitive products for cell culture media. After mixing, segregation effects should be avoided through careful handling. Vibrations and free-falling situations should also be avoided. For oral products, granulation is often used to avoid segregation in direct compression processes.

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Bert Dekens is Application Manager for the Pharma team within Hosokawa Micron BV, focusing on DPI blending markets. Bert holds a key position in the DPI network within the International Hosokawa Group and is well established in the DPI market.
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Bert Dekens
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