Sub-100 micron fast dissolving nanocomposite drug powders

Catharina Knieke, Mohammad A. Azad, Daniel To, Ecevit Bilgili, Rajesh N. Davé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


This study focuses on the preparation of sub-100. μm freely flowing yet fast dissolving core-shell nanocomposite powders via fluidized bed (FB) coating of poorly water-soluble drug nanosuspensions onto fine carrier particles (sub-50. μm). This is in contrast to conventional FB coating processes that utilize carrier particles as large as 850. μm resulting in much larger final nanocomposites. Fluidization and subsequent FB processing of sub-50. μm, Geldart group C powders, is a major technological barrier, which can be overcome by either increasing the body weight of the powders, or decreasing their cohesion. Here, the latter is considered as a practical way to enhance fluidization, accomplished through applying a discrete, fairly uniform layer of nano-sized silica particles onto the surface of the cohesive host particles dry coating. Fenofibrate was considered as a model poorly water-soluble drug, and was wet-milled in a stirred media mill and stabilized via an optimized polymer and surfactant combination. The nanoparticle suspensions were then coated onto hydrophilic nano-silica (M5P) coated sub-50 micron lactose (Granulac® 200) or potato starch carrier particles in a FB process. Their coating with drug particle nanosuspensions was achieved without appreciable agglomeration, which is a major novelty of this work. In spite of having a median particle size well under 100. μm, the resulting final composite powders were freely flowing, had high bulk density, and allowed for fast dissolution of a poorly water-soluble drug in comparison to either micronized or nano-milled drug along with the same excipients in physical mixtures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-60
Number of pages12
JournalPowder Technology
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering


  • Fast dissolution
  • Fine carrier particles
  • Fine nanocomposite drug powders
  • Fluidized bed coating
  • Free flowing powders
  • Poorly water-soluble drugs


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