Examining drug hydrophobicity in continuous wet granulation within a twin screw extruder

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The influence of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) hydrophobicity on continuous wet granulation was studied in twin screw granulation utilizing foamed binder delivery. The APIs examined were caffeine, acetaminophen, ibuprofen and griseofulvin and the drug load was maintained constant at 15 wt%. In order to understand the impact of these APIs on the granulation process, API and binder distribution, particle size, porosity, and fracture strength were analyzed on samples collected along the screw length. It was found that the API and binder distributions were uniform along the screws regardless of the hydrophobicity of the formulation, in contrast to literature results with liquid injection. The absence of de-mixing of the hydrophobic ingredient was hypothesized to be a result of the high spread-to-soak ratio of a foamed binder that ‘cages’ those particles within the mass of local hydrophilic solids.

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