Scale-up of pharmaceutical spray drying using scale-up rules: A review

Sadegh Poozesh, Ecevit Bilgili

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


Spray drying is one of the widely used manufacturing processes in pharmaceutical industry. While there are voluminous experimental studies pertaining to the impact of various process-formulation parameters on the quality attributes of spray dried powders such as particle size, morphology, density, and crystallinity, there is scant information available in the literature regarding process scale-up. Here, we first analyze salient features of scale-up attempts in literature. Then, spray drying process is analyzed considering the fundamental physical transformations involved, i.e., atomization, drying, and gas-solid separation. Each transformation is scrutinized from a scale-up perspective with non-dimensional parameters & multi-scale analysis, and comprehensively discussed in engineering context. Successful scale-up entails similar key response variables from each transformation across various scales. These variables are identified as droplet size distribution, outlet temperature, relative humidity, separator pressure loss coefficient, and collection efficiency. Instead of trial-and-error-based approaches, this review paper advocates the use of mechanistic models and scale-up rules for establishing design spaces for the process variables involved in each transformation of spray drying. While presenting a roadmap for process development and scale-up, the paper demonstrates how to bridge the current gap in spray drying scale-up via a rational understanding of the fundamental transformations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-292
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
StatePublished - May 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmaceutical Science


  • Atomization
  • Droplet size
  • Non-dimensional parameters
  • Particle engineering
  • Process modeling
  • Scale-up
  • Spray drying


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