Cushioning pellets based on microcrystalline cellulose – Crospovidone blends for MUPS tableting
June 26, 2020, midnight
Ramy N. Elsergany
Lai Wah Chan
Paul Wan Sia Heng
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Compacting tablets within a multiple-unit pellet system (MUPS) has been widely acknowledged as potentially challenging. Consequently, there is a growing demand for non-segregating cushioning agents to alleviate the adverse effects of compaction forces. This study was crafted to explore the utilization of porous pellets as cushioning agents, employing various drying techniques to produce pellets with varying porosities and formulations. The manufactured pellets underwent characterization for porosity and crushing strength. Subsequently, MUPS tablets were created using blends of polymer-coated pellets and specially designed cushioning pellets, compacted at different pressures. The study delved into the effects of pellet volume fraction and dwell time on pellet coat damage, along with the tensile strength of the resulting MUPS tablets. Compacts with a coated pellet volume fraction of 0.21 demonstrated the most effective cushioning when tableted at different compression speeds using both gravity and force feeders.
Key findings from the study revealed that cushioning pellet porosity was highest when employing freeze-drying, followed by fluid bed drying and oven drying. A notable inverse relationship was observed between cushioning pellet porosity and strength, with tablets made from freeze-dried pellets exhibiting the highest tensile strength. The protective impact of cushioning pellets predominantly relied on their porosity. Additionally, pellet volume fraction in the compacts and compaction pressure exerted had a significant effect on pellet coat damage. Compacting unprocessed powders through automatic die filling led to issues like capping and lamination, whereas the inclusion of cushioning pellets enabled the production of tablets with reasonable quality. Particularly, freeze-dried pellets containing crospovidone emerged as promising cushioning agents, facilitating the production of MUPS tablets even at higher compaction pressures, surpassing the intrinsic crushing strength of the coated pellets.