Calibration checks. A periodic calibration schedule must be established for each component on the automated system. The schedule may include
semiannual, quarterly, weekly, and daily activities designed to confirm the proper operation of the system. For the automated
dissolution-testing system, the quarterly activities may include balance and temperature-probe calibrations. In addition,
weekly or daily calibrations may include a quick balance check. For the dissolution apparatus, a semiannual performance calibration
must be completed using USP calibrators. Trial dissolutions must be performed on disintegrating (e.g., prednisone) and nondis-integrating (e.g., salicylic acid) USP calibrators. Each dissolution test must pass the USP acceptance criteria established for the lot of drug tested. Semiannual physical testing must also pass USP acceptance criteria. The physical specifications include shaft and basket eccentricities, bath level, shaft verticality,
and vessel and shaft centering. In addition, even though USP acceptance criteria have not yet been established for vibration, bath vibration is an important variable that should be measured
periodically, especially if mechanical components have been changed on any of the components of the automated system. New
mechanical components may increase bath vibration, which may increase dissolution results inaccurately. Daily physical specifications
that must pass USP acceptance criteria include proper paddle–basket height, initial and final temperatures in all vessels, and shaft rotational
Automated instrumentation for dissolution testing offers several advantages such as the ability to perform unattended testing
and the ability to screen several batches with varying parameters. But, automated instrumentation also poses challenges for
a dissolution chemist, including the need to have an overall understanding of the the automated system. Parameters such as
filtration, system interference, carry-over, cleaning parameters, and media replacement are factors that must be addressed
and validated to ensure equivalent results are obtained with manual and automated methods. The automated system can be used
to generate GMP data only if all components on or supporting the system maintain a documented and current qualification and
The author thanks Ron Mamajek, John Ballard, Ronnie McDowell, Dr. Michael Breslav, Dr. Daniel Kroon, Dr. Weiyong Li, and Dr.
Brigitte Segmuller for their valuable suggestions.
1. "<1092> The Dissolution Procedure: Development and Validation," Pharmacopeial Forum, 30 (1), 351–363 (Jan.–Feb. 2004).
2. "<1092> The Dissolution Procedure: Development and Validation," Pharmacopeial Forum, 31 (5), 1463–1475 (Sep.–Oct. 2005).
David Fortunato is a scientist in the Chem Pharm division of Analytical Development, US, Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and
Development, LLC, Welsh and McKean Rds., Spring House, PA 19477, tel. 215.628.5098, fax 215.540.4684, dfortuna@PRDUS.JNJ.com
Submitted: Feb. 22, 2006. Accepted: Apr. 7, 2006.
Keywords: Analytical testing, process automation, regulation validation and compliance, solid dosage forms