Particle engineering technologies are usually used to enhance the performance of the particles that have production or performance challenges. By increasing the particle functionality scientists are able to overcome production issues and deliver a uniform product of a higher quality.
Particle engineering has a wide range of applications in various fields, Food, Feed, Cosmetics, Paints, and Pharma to name a few. Particle engineering has become the golden goose of the industry because it offers both mathematical and empirical solutions to enhance product properties and the production process. For example in pharma, particle engineering is used to make great strides to obtain optimal particle characteristics for pulmonary and oral solid-dosage delivery. Homogeneity and size reduction are key which is realized through various possible production techniques such as micronization, which reduces particles down to the micrometer or, in some cases, nanometer (1/1000 of a micrometer), is the most widely used size-reduction technique. Other technologies include spray drying, wet polishing, and supercritical fluid processing which for example is used to deliver drugs directly to the lungs, these recently fine-tuned techniques have made the production process as well as body absorption more effective.
Micronization brings possible solutions as well as additional challenges. With smaller particles, the surface area increases thus creating the possibility for the smaller particles to interact with the moisture used in the production process, which leads to increased viscosity, which can create flow resistance, shear stress etc. The importance of particle size distribution is fundamental in creating product consistency. Consistent size and size distribution improve dose uniformity, homogeneity of blends and stability against segregation, stabilize mixtures, improve rheological (viscosity) characteristics of granules and semi-solid formulations, reduce hygroscopicity of moisture-absorbing materials, and ‘smooth out’ the granular material of solid particles.
Current particle engineering technologies include fluid bed agglomeration, coating, encapsulation, blending, milling, and classification. Through these technologies enhanced functionality of the particle production process leads to:
- Improved solubility and/ or dissolution
- Flowability improvement
- Homogeneity & stability against segregation
- Improved dose uniformity
- Increasing bulk density
- Stabilization of mixtures
- Reducing hygroscopicity
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Delft Solids Solutions is a privately-held contract research organization working on research and characterization of solid materials. Topics include, but are not limited to, primary physical properties as porosity, pore volume, pore size, surface area, particle size, density of powders and granules. We also investigate related characteristics such ...