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The effect of moisture on the flowability of pharmaceutical excipients.

Authors
  • Crouter, Allison
  • Briens, Lauren
Type
Published Article
Journal
AAPS PharmSciTech
Publisher
American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2014
Volume
15
Issue
1
Pages
65–74
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1208/s12249-013-0036-0
PMID: 24092523
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The effect of moisture content on flowability of six pharmaceutical powders (microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), corn starch, and potato starch) was investigated. Powder flowability was measured using established static techniques and emerging dynamic avalanche behavior measurements. Static techniques did not provide enough resolution to clearly identify changes in flowability due to increasing powder moisture content. Avalanche time and its standard deviation showed that flowability of MCC, CMC, PVP, and potato starch decreased after a critical moisture content, flowability of corn starch increased and flowability did not significantly change for HPMC. The moisture decreased flowability by forming stronger interparticle liquid bridges and increased flowability by acting as a lubricant. The dynamic density of the celluloses and PVP decreased linearly with increasing moisture content as the particles swelled with water. The starches also swelled and decreased in dynamic density, but only after a moisture content corresponding to monolayer coverage of water around the particles was reached. As flowability and dynamic density change with moisture content, to ensure consistent production of high-quality tablets, the moisture content of the powders must be measured and controlled.

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