Toward a Molecular Understanding of the Impact of Crystal Size and Shape on Punch Sticking.Mol Pharm. 2020 04 06; 17(4):1148-1158.MP
Punch sticking during tablet manufacturing is a common problem facing the pharmaceutical industry. Using several model compounds, effects of crystal size and shape of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) on punch sticking propensity were systematically investigated in this work to provide molecular insights into the punch-sticking phenomenon. In contrast to the common belief that smaller API particles aggravate punch sticking, results show that particle size reduction can either reduce or enhance API punch sticking, depending on the complex interplay among the particle surface area, plasticity, cohesive strength, and specific surface functional groups. Therefore, other factors, such as crystal mechanical properties, surface chemistry of crystal facets exposed to the punch face, and choice of excipients in a formulation, should be considered for a more reliable prediction of the initiation and progression of punch sticking. The exposure of strong electronegative groups to the punch face facilitates the onset of sticking, while higher plasticity and cohesive strength aggravate sticking.