Reduced Fine API Agglomeration After Dry Coating for Enhanced Blend Uniformity and Processability of Low Drug Loaded Blends

Sangah S. Kim, Chelsea Castillo, Muhammad Sayedahmed, Rajesh N. Davé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: The impact of dry coating on reduced API agglomeration remains underexplored. Therefore, this work quantified fine cohesive API agglomeration reduction through dry coating and its impact on enhanced blend uniformity and processability, i.e., flowability and bulk density of multi-component blends API loading as low as 1 wt%. Methods: The impact of dry coating with two different types and amounts of silica was assessed on cohesion, agglomeration, flowability, bulk density, wettability, and surface energy of fine milled ibuprofen (~ 10 µm). API agglomeration, measured using Gradis/QicPic employing gentler gravity-based dispersion, resulted in excellent size resolution. Multi-component blends with fine-sized excipients, selected for reduced segregation potential, were tested for bulk density, cohesion, flowability, and blend content uniformity. Tablets formed using these blends were tested for tensile strength and dissolution. Result: All dry coated ibuprofen powders exhibited dramatic agglomeration reduction, corroborated by corresponding decreased cohesion, unconfined yield strength, and improved flowability, regardless of the type and amount of silica coating. Their blends exhibited profound enhancement in flowability and bulk density even at low API loadings, as well as the content uniformity for the lowest drug loading. Moreover, hydrophobic silica coating improved drug dissolution rate without appreciably reducing tablet tensile strength. Conclusion: The dry coating based reduced agglomeration of fine APIs for all three low drug loadings improved overall blend properties (uniformity, flowability, API release rate) due to the synergistic impact of a minute amount of silica (0.007 wt %), potentially enabling direct compression tableting and aiding manufacturing of other forms of solid dosing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3155-3174
Number of pages20
JournalPharmaceutical Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Pharmacology (medical)


  • API agglomeration
  • blend processability
  • blend uniformity
  • dry coating
  • low API loading


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