Influence of chopper and mixer speeds and microwave power level during the high-shear granulation process on the final granule characteristics
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Pharmacy
New York, N.Y.
Drug development and industrial pharmacy. - New York, N.Y.
, p. 1289-1293
Although microwave drying technology has been used extensively, detailed studies in the pharmaceutical field are necessary to model the different operational parameters involved in microwave drying in combination with the high-shear granulation processes. The implications of the chopper and the mixer speeds during the granulation step and the microwave power level during the drying step on the final granule characteristics were investigated. α-Lactose monohydrate and microcrystalline cellulose were granulated at three different mixer and chopper speeds in a laboratory-scale high-shear mixer (Mi-Mi-Pro) and dried at three microwave power levels. The dried granules were characterized by friability tests, particle size analysis, bulk and tapped density studies, and porosimetry. Neither the mixer speed nor the chopper speed had a significant influence on the granule friability, which was low for all batches produced. The selected materials and experimental conditions induced a very robust granulation process, but the granule size distribution was influenced by the microwave power level. The reciprocal relationship between the dust formation and the microwave power level was analyzed using a central composite factorial design. The amount of dust remained low in all batches, but it influenced some of the inherent density properties and the volume reduction behavior of the granulation mass. In almost all cases, the Carr index decreased slightly with increasing microwave power. The major granule characteristics were not changed when different mixer or chopper speeds were changed, although the mixer speed did alter the intragranular pore size distribution.