Inline monitoring and a PAT strategy for pharmaceutical hot melt extrusion.Int J Pharm 2013; 455(1-2):159-68IJ
Implementation of continuous manufacturing in the pharmaceutical industry requires tight process control. This study focuses on a PAT strategy for hot melt extrusion of vegetable calcium stearate (CaSt) as matrix carrier and paracetamol as active pharmaceutical ingredient (API). The extrusion was monitored using in-line near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy. A NIR probe was located in the section between the extrusion screws and the die, using a novel design of the die channel. A chemometric model was developed based on premixes at defined concentrations and was implemented in SIPAT for real time API concentration monitoring. Subsequently, step experiments were performed for different API concentrations, screw speeds and screw designs. The predicted API concentration was in good agreement with the pre-set concentrations. The transition from one API plateau to another was a smooth curve due to the mixing behaviour of the extruder. The accuracy of the model was confirmed via offline HPLC analysis. The screw design was determined as the main influential factor on content uniformity (CU). Additionally the influence of multiple feeders had a significant impact on CU. The results demonstrate that in-line NIR measurements is a powerful tool for process development (e.g., mixing characterization), monitoring and further control strategies.