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A protective coating helps fine powders flow, without agglomeration

By Chemical Engineering |

A team from Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Science at Monash University (Melbourne, Australia; www.pharm.monash.edu.au), has developed an approach — a hybrid mixing and milling process — for producing fine (1–20 µm) pharmaceutical powders with good flow and de-agglomeration properties. Team leader David Morton says similar methods have been applied for bulk pigments and ceramics, but are not generally known for such fine and cohesive powders that tend to form clumps that stick stubbornly together. The team used a very high shear system — a Nobilta “Mechanofusion” processor developed by Hosokawa Micron Corp. (Osaka, Japan; www.hosokawamicron.co.jp/en) — that has a specially designed fast blade, providing a fast moving compressive surface. The process the team has developed involves coating the particles with a nano-layer of an additive, which is polished into the particles’ surface. The coating is believed to improve flow properties by reducing interparticle forces. Fine-milled lactose samples were used as model cohesive pharmaceutical powders, and about 1–2 wt.% magnesium stearate served as the additive. For comparison, the samples were processed in a conventional mixer…
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