Co-melt fluidised bed granulation of pharmaceutical powders: Improvements in drug bioavailability

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This study investigates the use of co-melt fluidised bed granulation for the agglomeration of model pharmaceutical powders, namely, lactose mono-hydrate, PEG 10000, poly-vinyl pyrolidone and ibuprofen as a model drug. Granulation within the co-melt system was found to follow a nucleationâ??steady growthâ??coating regime profile. Using high molecular weight PEG binder, the granulation mechanism and thus the extent of granulation was found to be significantly influenced by binder viscosity. The compression properties of the granulate within the hot fluidised bed were correlated using a novel high temperature experimental procedure. It was found that the fracture stress and fractural modulus of the materials under hot processing conditions were orders of magnitude lower than those measured under ambient conditions. A range of particle velocities within the granulator were considered based on theoretical models. After an initial period of nucleation, the Stokes deformation number analysis indicated that only velocities within the high shear region of the fluidised bed were sufficient to promote significant granule deformation and therefore, coalescence. The data also indicated that larger granules de-fluidised preventing agglomeration by coalescence. Furthermore, experimental data indicated that dissipation of the viscous molten binder to the surface was the most important factor in the latter stages of the granulation process. From a pharmaceutical perspective the inclusion of the model drug, ibuprofen, combined with PVP in the co-melt process proved to be highly significant. It was found that using DSC analysis on the formulations that the decrease in the heat of fusion associated with the melting of ibuprofen within the FHMG systems may be attributed to interaction between PVP and ibuprofen through inter-molecular hydrogen bonding. This interaction decreases the crystallinity of ibuprofen and facilitates solubilisation and bioavailability within the solid matrix.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-462
Number of pages12
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Volume62 (1-2)
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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