Researchers at Monash University in Australia are using Freeman's FT4 universal powder tester to investigate techniques to improve the flow properties of excipients for inhaled-product formulation.
The team, led by Dr David Morton, recently published work describing the use of optimised dry-coating techniques to enhance the flow of fine lactose particles.
Its results show that the FT4 quantifies flow behaviour more sensitively than conventional techniques.
With dry-powder inhalers, the flow properties of the formulation influence both ease of manufacture and the aerosolisation process needed for drug delivery.
To achieve effective delivery, lactose is often used as a carrier for the fine active pharmaceutical ingredients in inhaled formulations.
One way to improve its flow properties is by applying a thin magnesium stearate coating using mechanofusion.
Using the FT4 to compare the influence on the powder behaviour of this technique with a conventional blending approach, the Monash team showed mechanofusion to be far more effective.
Specific energy, a dynamic property routinely reported by the FT4, proved especially sensitive to changes induced by the inclusion of magnesium stearate, successfully detecting the smaller improvements caused by simply mixing the additive with the lactose.
The aim now is to use the FT4 to define parameters that enable the prediction of both in-process flow behaviour and aerosolisation.
The FT4 from Freeman Technology is a universal powder tester that delivers dynamic, shear and bulk measurements that together combine to give the fullest insight into powder behaviour.
Well-defined analytical protocols, automation and sample conditioning, prior to measurement, give the instrument exemplary reproducibility.
The FT4 is ideal for troubleshooting, QC and development.