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Investigation into the impact of sub-populations of agglomerates on the particle size distribution and flow properties of conventional microcrystalline cellulose grades

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Microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) stands out as a highly adaptable tablet filler binder, widely employed in both granulation and direct compression processes. Previous research has revealed that MCC particle populations consist of a blend of 'rod-like' primary particles and agglomerates. The varying proportions of these primary particles and agglomerates across different material grades contribute to distinct bulk properties. However, a comprehensive understanding of the proportion of primary particles versus agglomerates and their impact on performance factors such as flow has not been previously established. This paper utilizes an innovative microscopy-based characterization technique to illustrate that, in the MCC grades spanning from PH101 to PH200, the proportion of 'agglomerates' is numerically low but sufficient to significantly influence a volume-based particle size method.
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