Using 3D Printing for Rapid Prototyping of Characterization Tools for Investigating Powder Blend Behavior

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There is an increasing need to provide more detailed insight into the behavior of particulate systems. The current powder characterization tools are developed empirically and in many cases, modification of existing equipment is difficult. More flexible tools are needed to provide understanding of complex powder behavior, such as mixing process and segregation phenomenon. An approach based on the fast prototyping of new powder handling geometries and interfacing solutions for process analytical tools is reported. This study utilized 3D printing for rapid prototyping of customized geometries; overall goal was to assess mixing process of powder blends at small-scale with a combination of spectroscopic and mechanical monitoring. As part of the segregation evaluation studies, the flowability of three different paracetamol/filler-blends at different ratios was investigated, inter alia to define the percolation thresholds. Blends with a paracetamol wt% above the percolation threshold were subsequently investigated in relation to their segregation behavior. Rapid prototyping using 3D printing allowed designing two funnels with tailored flow behavior (funnel flow) of model formulations, which could be monitored with an in-line near-infrared (NIR) spectrometer. Calculating the root mean square (RMS) of the scores of the two first principal components of the NIR spectra visualized spectral variation as a function of process time. In a same setup, mechanical properties (basic flow energy) of the powder blend were monitored during blending. Rapid prototyping allowed for fast modification of powder testing geometries and easy interfacing with process analytical tools, opening new possibilities for more detailed powder characterization.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAAPS PharmSciTech
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)941–950
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 185402565