Research Project Targets Tablet Sticking

April 6, 2012
Stephanie Sutton

Stephanie Sutton was an assistant editor at Pharmaceutical Technology Europe.

As part of an ongoing collaboration into tabletting science, I Holland and the UK's University of Nottingham have launched a two-year programme to investigate the cause of tabletting sticking.

As part of an ongoing collaboration into tabletting science, I Holland and the UK’s University of Nottingham have launched a two-year programme to investigate the cause of tabletting sticking. According to a press release, tablet sticking is one of the biggest problems facing tablet manufacturers today.

The project, titled the Tabletting Science Anti-stick Research (TSAR) project, will use advanced technology, such as scanning electron microscopy, laser profilometry, atomic force microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, time flight secondary-ion mass spectrometry and adhesion mapping. One particular issue that will be investigated is what makes formulations stick to tablet tooling surfaces, including why certain coatings resist sticking, whereas others do not. Currently, a number of interactions are believed to influence tablet sticking including Van der Waals forces, capillary action, deformation mechanics and static electricity.

The project will be led by Professor Clive Roberts, whose previous research into the quantitative measurements of the surface properties of pharmaceutical materials, using a range of nanoscale techniques, earned him a Queens Award for Industry in 2011.