Tackling Tablet Sticking - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Tackling Tablet Sticking
Rob Blanchard and Clive Roberts discuss the issues surrounding tablet sticking and the collaboration of I Holland with Nottingham University to improve tabletting science, which was announced in March 2012

Pharmaceutical Technology Europe


Q: What techniques are necessary to further examine the intricacies of tablet sticking? How will the results of these techniques be combined to increase knowledge?

The project is exploiting a range of advanced surface analytical techniques to derive chemical and physical data from drug and excipients particles. The work also involves quantitatively mapping adhesion at the nano and micro scale using single drug particles, and links this adhesion data to actual tabletting experiments utilising a range of novel and controllable surface coated tablet punches with well‑defined characteristics. Multivariate analysis and principal component analysis will be used to identify the parameter(s) that influence sticking to form the basis of a model to predict propensity for sticking, based upon these factors. The ongoing use of the advanced techniques employed to collect the data in this research should not be required to implement this prediction in a commercial environment.

Q: Are there any particular areas that the collaboration will focus on?

Previous research has focused on only a few excipients and therefore did not allow a predictive tool to be developed that would allow selection of the correct coating without the need of expensive and time consuming compression trials. The aim of I Holland’s research and development team is to speed response times to solving customers’ problems, ultimately offering better customer service.


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