In the Spotlight

New product reviews for February 2012.
Feb 02, 2012
By PharmTech Editors

Editors' Picks of Pharmaceutical Science & Technology Innovations

To ensure that a tableting process will be predictable, active ingredients and excipients in powder form must undergo granulation. This process results in granules, which comprise several particles each, and helps personnel produce tablets within the desired specifications. This month's products aid the granulation process in various ways. A particle-size analyzer from Malvern Instruments helps streamline particle measurement. Whitehouse Scientific's image analyzer provides powder characterization. Bosch's extrusion line helps to form tablets accurately.

Particle-size analyzer facilitates dry-powder measurement

Malvern Instruments's Mastersizer 3000 particle-size analyzer is designed to extend dry measurements to a wide range of sample types. It provides a 10-KHz data-acquisition rate, and all parameters for dry-powder measurement (i.e., sample feed rate, dispersion pressure, and system cleaning) are controlled through the software by its SOP interface. Its real-time feedback capability helps streamline method development and routine measurement.


Mastersizer 3000 Malvern Instruments www.malvern.com
The analyzer's Aero S dry-powder disperser enables users to measure materials from 0.01 to 3500 µm. It disperses dry samples by accelerating particles through a venturi mechanism, using compressed air at a user-defined pressure. The particles then pass through the Mastersizer 3000's laser for measurement and are collected using a vacuum source. The sample feed rate through the Aero S is closely controlled using a vibrating feeder, which maintains a suitable sample concentration for laser measurement. It is fitted with an interchangeable sample tray that can be configured to ensure the measurement of enough material to quantify the entire size distribution reproducibly.

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Image analyzer features particle characterization

The ShapeSizer image analyzer from Whitehouse Scientific can characterize particles in the size range of 1–5000 µm. The analyzer integrates a charge-coupled device camera with its software system, which is designed to provide a cost-effective solution for a variety of industrial particulate applications where size and shape are important parameters.


ShapeSizer image analyzer Whitehouse Scientific www.whitehousescientific.com
Some key features of the ShapeSizer include automatic cluster recognition and elimination, a particle-separation and editing facility, and a sieve calibration option. In addition, it contains a Miles-Lantuejoul option to maximize its field of view without eliminating particles.

Extrusion and calendering line forms tablets accurately


Melt-extrusion and calendering line Bosch Packaging Technology www.bosch.com
Bosch Packaging Technology's integrated melt-extrusion and calendering line features a continuous production process for pharmaceutical substances, and meets all GMP standards. Its modular structure enables manufacturers to customize extrusion and forming equipment. Its capabilities feature direct shaping of pills or oblong shapes, in addition to pelletizing with its granulation-head technology. The products can be used for customized scale-ups and are designed for contained or noncontained environments.

The line includes the Pharma Extruder WCF 0040PH, which continually processes the substrate with active ingredients through the melting, mixing, kneading, aerating, tempering, and forming stages. Also included is the Pharma Calender BPK 0050, which is designed to ensure accurate forming of tablets by using dual rollers with forming cavities.