Hot-Melt Developments - Pharmaceutical Technology

Latest Issue

Latest Issue
PharmTech Europe

Hot-Melt Developments
Developments in hot-melt extrusion using twin-screw extruders to make solid-dosage drug forms.

Pharmaceutical Technology
Volume 36, Issue 7

Jennifer Markarian
Development in hot-melt extrusion (HME) using twin-screw extruders to make solid-dosage drug forms has increased significantly in the past decade, although it is still in its infancy, said Charlie Martin, president of the US operations of Leistritz, at the recent Pharmaceutical Extrusion Seminar organized by the company. An interesting aspect of HME is the variety of physical forms that can be given to the melt after mixing.

At Leistritz's processing lab, for example, seminar attendees observed demonstration lines producing cast film, tubing, and pellets. Films can be used for dosage forms such as dissolvable films or transdermal patches. Pellets can be filled in capsules, punched directly into tablets, or granulated for traditional tablet production. Foamed pellets for fast-acting dosage forms are a novel development. Extruded rods and fibers are also being used as a dosage form.

Cutting extruded pharmaceutical formulations is often difficult because the polymers used are prone to fracture or smearing during pelletizing. Optimizing temperature and blade shape can help to solve cutting problems and minimize particulate generation, explained Bob Bessemer, sales manager for medical extrusion at the Conair Group, in his presentation. He noted that there are many technologies used in plastics extrusion that could potentially be applied to pharmaceutical extrusion. In wood-plastics composite processing, for example, extra sections are added to the end of the extruder to control cooling and thus improve cutting. He predicts that someday pharma manufacturers will be able to cut extrudate directly into tablets, once the problems of cutting and swelling are solved.

Borrowing another common plastics processing technique, tablets could also be directly injection molded after extrusion, noted other presenters. Looking to the expertise of the plastics industry may help propel development of pharmaceutical extrusion.

Jennifer Markarian is the manufacturing editor of Pharmaceutical Technology.


blog comments powered by Disqus
LCGC E-mail Newsletters

Subscribe: Click to learn more about the newsletter
| Weekly
| Monthly
| Weekly

What impact do mega-mergers of biopharmaceutical companies have on the development of new drugs?
Improves the quality and number of innovative drugs available to patients.
Restricts innovation and the development of new drugs.
Has no impact on drug development.
Do not know.
Improves the quality and number of innovative drugs available to patients.
Restricts innovation and the development of new drugs.
Has no impact on drug development.
Do not know.
Eric Langer Outsourcing Outlook Eric LangerOutsourcing No Longer Just for Cost-Cutting
Cynthia Challener, PhD Ingredients Insider Cynthia ChallenerSeeking Alternative Catalyst Solutions
Jill Wechsler Regulatory Watch Jill Wechsler Global Expansion Shapes Drug Oversight
Chris Burgess Statistical Solutions Chris BurgessIs a Sample Size of n=6 a Magic Number?
Sean Milmo European Regulatory WatchSean MilmoRegulating the Environmental Impact of Pharmaceuticals
Clusters set to benefit from improved funding climate but IP rights are even more critical
Supplier Audit Program Marks Progress
FDA, Drug Companies Struggle with Compassionate Use Requests
USP Faces New Challenges
Report: Pfizer Makes $101 Billion Offer to AstraZeneca
Source: Pharmaceutical Technology,
Click here