(54a) Evaluating the Influence of Dry Granulation Processing Variables on the Rheological Properties of Granules

Authors: 
Freeman, T., Freeman Technology
Monington, L., Freeman Technology
Yin, J., Freeman Technology Inc
Vom Bey, H., Gerteis Maschinen Processengineering AG
Hanisch, M., Gerteis Maschinen Processengineering AG
Granulation is often employed in the production of pharmaceutical formulations for oral solid dose delivery. It is most often required when constituent materials in a formulation have poor flow properties, enabling these components to be combined to improve process performance and ensure content uniformity.

Dry granulation, based around the use of a roller compactor and integral mill/screen, can have significant advantages over more common wet granulation techniques. Dry granulation can reduce processing costs and can also be used with moisture/solvent/heat sensitive materials. Unlike a wet granulate, the dry granulate does not require additional drying and milling before encapsulation or tabletting.

Dry granulation is not suitable for all types of material, however, there is little research into which properties make a formulation suitable for this process. In addition, there is little to indicate which process parameters produce optimal granulate quality in order to achieve interruption free processing and high quality final products.

In this study an FT4 Powder Rheometer® (Freeman Technology, Gloucestershire, UK) was used to demonstrate how processing parameters influence the properties of a placebo formulation granulate. The granulate was produced using a roller compactor (MiniPactor, Gerteis Maschinen+Processengineering AG, Switzerland) on which the roll gap and compaction force were varied. The dynamic flow, bulk and shear properties of the resulting granulates were then evaluated using the FT4 Powder Rheometer.

The data clearly demonstrates that several rheological properties, known to influence die filling efficiency and Critical Quality Attributes (CQAs) of the resulting tablets, could be controlled by changes in roller compactor settings.

This study emphasises the importance of assessing powder properties using techniques that closely simulate process conditions and how it is possible to identify Critical Process Parameters to optimise a dry granulation process and ensure high final product quality.

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