Dry Powder Analysis for Pharmaceutical Formulations using Imaging Particle Analysis

 While designed for the analysis of particulates in fluids, the FlowCAM is also very useful for analysis of particulates that are dry in their native state.  Simply suspend the dry particles in any liquid that is inert to the particles under study. There are many benefits to using this approach compared to traditional dry particle anlysis methode because the effects of static electricity on the particles is eliminated.  Plus any gravitational effects found in dry analyzers are eliminated.

Many pharmaceutical products and ingredients, such as active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), fillers, and excipients are commonly supplied and handled as dry powders. Particle size and shape of the particulates is critical to product performance in many different aspects of the manufacturing process.  Particle shape is critical to flowability in the manufacturing process, as well as adherence when tabletized.  It can also affect taste.  


Sorbitol Sample #1
(click to enlarge) 


Sorbitol Sample #2
(click to enlarge) 

In the example shown above, two samples of Sorbitol, supplied as a dry powder, were analyzed in the FlowCAM to determine particle size and shape. It was suspected that the two sources being used were supplying different quality product, and imaging particle analysis was the method chosen to characterize the samples. Since Sorbitol is water-soluble, mineral oil was used to suspend the particles for analysis in the FlowCAM. The results clearly showed differences in the two samples.

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Particles Come in Many Shapes and Sizes: Imaging Particle Analysis Instrumentation Reveals Particle Shape as Culprit in Conveying, Performance Breakdowns >>
Published in Processing Magazine