Granulation is employed to improve the handling and processing of powdered materials. Wet, dry and melt granulation techniques are being studied. Significant work has also been done in roller compaction, fluid bed granulation, rotary processing, extrusion-spheronization, melt pelletization and powder layering.
High Shear Granulator
Coating is vital in achieving modified release dosage forms, taste masking and preserving the physicochemical stability of active drugs. A spot color method has been successfully developed to aid the evaluation of coating homogeneity. Additionally, we are looking at small particle/pellet coating using Wurster and Precision coaters as well as the Supercell® coater.
GEA-NUS PPRL has been keenly involved in the application of microencapsulation technology for pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food, agricultural and veterinary purposes. This technique is especially advantageous in overcoming incompatibility problems, modulating drug release and conferring physico-chemical protection to encapsulated bioactives. We have successfully applied a variety of encapsulation techniques such as spray drying, spray congealing and emulsification using a wide array of polymeric materials to investigate biofuel production by yeast cells, encapsulation of fish oils as well as fish feed through a million dollar grant from the Tropical Marine Sciences Institute (TMSI), Singapore.
Microspheres under SEM
Aligned with the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) PAT initiative in 2004, GEA-NUS PPRL is actively looking at developing tools for its implementation. These include: an in-line particle sizer, near infra-red (NIR) monitoring of powder blend homogeneity, high speed imaging for on-line pellet coating processes and coating mechanism study.
Pellet Velocity Distribution Pattern Derived from High Speed Images