Melt pelletization of a hygroscopic drug in a high shear mixer. Part 3. Effects of binder variation.

Chemical & pharmaceutical bulletin

PubMedID: 11217098

Thies R, Kleinebudde P. Melt pelletization of a hygroscopic drug in a high shear mixer. Part 3. Effects of binder variation. Chem Pharm Bull. 2001;49(2):140-6.
Melt pelletization experiments with sodium valproate as a hygroscopic drug were performed in a laboratory scale high shear mixer. In the current part, the effect of altering the binder liquid properties (using different binders, varying the temperature, or adding highly dispersed silicon dioxide to the molten binder) on the pellet size, size distribution and the growth rate was studied. Three meltable binders, namely glycerol monostearate (GMS), hydrated castor oil (HCO), and polyethylene glycol (PEG), were included in the study. Two series of experiments with GMS or HCO showed a higher granule growth rate with decreasing binder viscosity. Also, increases in the granule growth rate were observed for all meltable binders tested, when the binder amount and the impeller speed were increased. Factorial designs with all three binders were performed under the same conditions. In these experiments, no correlation existed between the granule growth rate and the viscosity of the different binders. The different granule growth rate, however, was mainly attributed to the different solubility of sodium valproate in the binder liquid used. Higher solubility increased the volume of the binder liquid and, accordingly, the granule growth rate. Taking the amount of dissolved drug into account, the granule growth rates of GMS and PEG were comparable. However, HCO displayed a lower granule growth rate, which might be related to its low adhesion tension. During melt pelletization in a high shear mixer the solubility of the drug in the molten binder strongly influences the pelletization process.