Modelling and understanding powder flow properties and compactability of selected active pharmaceutical ingredients, excipients and physical mixtures from critical material properties

Int J Pharm. 2017 Oct 5;531(1):191-204. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2017.08.063. Epub 2017 Aug 9.


The development of solid dosage forms and manufacturing processes are governed by complex physical properties of the powder and the type of pharmaceutical unit operation the manufacturing processes employs. Suitable powder flow properties and compactability are crucial bulk level properties for tablet manufacturing by direct compression. It is also generally agreed that small scale powder flow measurements can be useful to predict large scale production failure. In this study, predictive multilinear regression models were effectively developed from critical material properties to estimate static powder flow parameters from particle size distribution data for a single component and for binary systems. A multilinear regression model, which was successfully developed for ibuprofen, also efficiently predicted the powder flow properties for a range of batches of two other active pharmaceutical ingredients processed by the same manufacturing route. The particle size distribution also affected the compactability of ibuprofen, and the scope of this work will be extended to the development of predictive multivariate models for compactability, in a similar manner to the approach successfully applied to flow properties.

Keywords: Compactability; Crystallisation; Milling; Multilinear regression model; Particle size descriptors; Powder flow; Surface chemistry.

MeSH terms

  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical
  • Excipients / analysis*
  • Particle Size
  • Powders / analysis*
  • Tablets
  • Technology, Pharmaceutical*


  • Excipients
  • Powders
  • Tablets