(6e) Using Roller Compaction in a Continuous Tablet Manufacturing Process

McCann, R. - Presenter, Purdue University
Muliadi, A. - Presenter, Purdue University
Litster, J. D. - Presenter, Purdue University
Pinal, R. - Presenter, Purdue University

Solid dosage forms, such as tablets and capsules, have been predominately manufactured through batch processes in pharmaceutical industry for years. The development of continuous manufacturing processes is of high interest to the pharmaceutical industry to reduce the huge costs associated with process scale-up. Roller compaction is a dry granulation technique which is readily applicable to continuous processing and is currently a part of a test bed at Purdue University to demonstrate the feasibility of manufacturing tablets continuously. This test bed will be used as the platform to understand the science behind the process, to build predictive models for process design and online process control strategies, and to optimize the manufacturing process. It has been shown in previous research that roller compacted ribbons have a three dimensional density distribution which can affect the particle size distribution of granules after milling. Our specific interest is in understanding and monitoring the density distribution of ribbons produced by roller compaction with near infrared spectroscopy. Near infrared spectroscopy is an analytical technique which is non-destructive, fast, measures both chemical and physical information about the sample, and can be implemented for online monitoring. Therefore, by understanding the effects of formulation, operating conditions, and equipment design on ribbon density distribution we can develop optimized monitoring strategies to help produce a more uniform final product.

The active pharmaceutical ingredient, acetaminophen (APAP), and excipients, including microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), magnesium stearate (MgSt) and Cal-O-Sil® (SiO2) were selected as the model system to study the roller compaction process. To understand the effect of formulation on ribbon density distribution acetaminophen concentration, microcrystalline cellulose grades, and lubricant levels were changed. The effect of operating conditions on ribbon density distribution was studied by changing the roll force and the feed screw speed to roll speed ratio. Finally, the effect of equipment design was studied by altering the penetration of the feed screw into the slip region of the rolls. A multi-point, non-contact diffuse reflectance near infrared probe was set-up at the outlet of the rolls to interrogate the entire width of the ribbon. Offline envelop density measurements were used to create and confirm a multivariate density calibration model for each formulation. The multi-point spectra were combined together to create density contour maps.

In this work, we show the results of the various experiments to characterize ribbon density distribution. We will also discuss how the variance of ribbon density changes with the scale of scrutiny. Based on the analysis of density variation, a near infrared monitoring strategy will be outlined. Finally, we will offer some general conclusions about how the experimental results can be used and extended to process control.