An Intensified Vibratory Milling Process for Enhancing the Breakage Kinetics during the Preparation of Drug Nanosuspensions

Meng Li, Lu Zhang, Rajesh N. Davé, Ecevit Bilgili

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


As a drug-sparing approach in early development, vibratory milling has been used for the preparation of nanosuspensions of poorly water-soluble drugs. The aim of this study was to intensify this process through a systematic increase in vibration intensity and bead loading with the optimal bead size for faster production. Griseofulvin, a poorly water-soluble drug, was wet-milled using yttrium-stabilized zirconia beads with sizes ranging from 50 to 1500 μm at low power density (0.87 W/g). Then, this process was intensified with the optimal bead size by sequentially increasing vibration intensity and bead loading. Additional experiments with several bead sizes were performed at high power density (16 W/g), and the results were compared to those from wet stirred media milling. Laser diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry, and dissolution tests were used for characterization. Results for the low power density indicated 800 μm as the optimal bead size which led to a median size of 545 nm with more than 10% of the drug particles greater than 1.8 μm albeit the fastest breakage. An increase in either vibration intensity or bead loading resulted in faster breakage. The most intensified process led to 90% of the particles being smaller than 300 nm. At the high power intensity, 400 μm beads were optimal, which enhanced griseofulvin dissolution significantly and signified the importance of bead size in view of the power density. Only the optimally intensified vibratory milling led to a comparable nanosuspension to that prepared by the stirred media milling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-399
Number of pages11
JournalAAPS PharmSciTech
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmaceutical Science


  • LabRAM
  • bioavailability enhancement
  • drug nanoparticles
  • process intensification
  • vibratory milling


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