Modeling of adhesion in tablet compression. II. Compaction studies using a compaction simulator and an instrumented tablet press

J Pharm Sci. 2004 Feb;93(2):407-17. doi: 10.1002/jps.10553.


Adhesion problems are usually not identified until prolonged compression runs are studied near the end of the drug development process. During tablet manufacturing, adhesion problems encountered are usually addressed by statistically designed experiments based on experience. It would be a significant benefit for the pharmaceutical industry if adhesion problems could be identified early in drug development based on molecular considerations of the drug substance and/or prototype formulations. Drug substance-punch face interactions were reported in the first of the articles in this series, and focused on the elucidation of adhesion problems in tablet compression. It was hypothesized that the intermolecular interactions between drug molecules and the punch face was the first step (or criterion) in the adhesion process, and that the rank order of adhesion during tablet compression should correspond with the rank order of these energies of interaction. That is, the interaction between the molecular structure of the drug and the metal surface determines the primary interaction event or relative potential for adhesion, while the mechanical processes and/or lubrication effects may subsequently impact the extent of adhesion. Molecular simulations and atomic force microscopy were used to establish the rank order of the work of adhesion of a series of profen compounds. The results predicted that the relative degree of drug substance-punch face adhesion should decrease in the order of ketoprofen > ibuprofen > flurbiprofen. In this study, the authors investigated whether the rank order of the work of adhesion established on the molecular level and interparticulate level holds true in the tableting environment by measuring tablet take-off force, ejection force, and visual observation of the punch surfaces for both pure drug compacts and formulated tablets. The compaction simulator was used for pure profen compacts, while the instrumented tablet press for formulated tablets. Due to the inability to extract the adhesion force component from the total ejection force measurement, tablet ejection force was not used as a criterion to judge the adhesion behavior of the model compounds. The criteria used for judgement of punch face adhesion were tablet take-off force and visual observation of the punch faces. The rank order of adhesion for both pure drug and formulated tablets was determined to follow the order of ketoprofen > ibuprofen > flurbiprofen. The effect of run time on adhesion behavior was also investigated. Therefore, the rank order of the punch-face adhesion tendencies for the series of profen compounds was determined, and found to agree with the data from the predictive methods reported in the first article.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adhesiveness
  • Algorithms
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / chemistry
  • Drug Compounding / instrumentation*
  • Flurbiprofen / administration & dosage
  • Flurbiprofen / chemistry
  • Ibuprofen / administration & dosage
  • Ibuprofen / chemistry
  • Ketoprofen / administration & dosage
  • Ketoprofen / chemistry
  • Lubrication
  • Pressure
  • Surface Properties
  • Tablets*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Tablets
  • Flurbiprofen
  • Ketoprofen
  • Ibuprofen