Investigating the Use of Polymeric Binders in Twin Screw Melt Granulation Process for Improving Compactibility of Drugs.J Pharm Sci. 2017 01; 106(1):140-150.JP
Traditionally, the melt granulation for pharmaceutical products was performed at low temperature (<90°C) with high-shear granulators using low-melting waxy binders, and tablets produced using such granules were not amenable to large-scale manufacturing. The situation has changed in recent years by the use of twin screw extruder where the processing temperature could be increased to as high as 180°C and polymers with high Tg could be used as binders. In this study, different polymeric binders were screened for their suitability in improving compactibility of 2 drugs, metformin hydrochloride and acetaminophen, by twin screw melt granulation. Processing temperatures for the 2 drugs were set at 180°C and 130°C, respectively. Screw configuration, screw speed, and feed rate were optimized such that all polymeric binders used produced granules. Several hydroxypropyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, polyvinylpyrrolidone, and methacrylate-based polymers, including Klucel® EXF, Eudragit® EPO, and Soluplus®, demonstrated good tablet tensile strength (>2 MPa) when granules were produced using only 10% wt/wt polymer concentration. Certain polymers provided acceptable compactibility even at 5% wt/wt. Thus, twin screw melt granulation process may be used with different polymers at a wide range of temperature. Due to low excipient concentration, this granulation method is especially suitable for high-dose tablets.