Continuous twin screw granulation: Influence of process and formulation variables on granule quality attributes of model formulations
In recent years, continuous manufacturing techniques, such as twin screw wet granulation, have gained significant momentum.
Due to the large diversity of the (model) formulations and equipment, it is often difficult to generalize conclusions about the importance of process settings. As only limited knowledge is available on the importance of formulation variables, this study focused on the systematic quantification of both process as formulation effects on critical quality attributes of granules from several model formulations.
Apart from conventional process and formulation variables, also non-conventional process factors such as nozzle diameter, nozzle orientation and inclusion of a new type of size control elements were evaluated using a Plackett-Burman screening design. Although effects were often formulation-dependent, liquid-to-solid ratio proved the most influential variable for all formulations. Furthermore, binder concentration had a clear effect on granule characteristics, whereas barrel fill level and barrel temperature were less influential. The novel type of size control elements improved granule size distribution and density. The impact of nozzle diameter and wet binder addition proved negligible towards granule properties.
Overall it was apparent that lactose/MCC-based formulations correlated better than lactose-based formulations, indicating the possible process robustness of the first filler combination to accommodate API and excipient variability and to handle APIs with different characteristics. Continue on continuous twin screw extrusion