Pharmaceutical Size Reduction: How Size Affects Stability, Appearance & Properties

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David Shechter
Sep 13, 2016
min read
Pharmaceutical Size Reduction: How Size Affects Stability, Appearance & Properties

Particle size reduction in the pharmaceutical industry, or pharmaceutical size reduction, or micronization, is an important initial step in the manufacture of most medicines. The pharmaceutical size reduction process is also referred to as comminution, diminution or pulverization.

Pharmaceutical size reduction is used primarily for the purposes of control – control of the rates of dissolution and absorption, control of chemical reactions, and control of physical characteristics. Below we discuss how pharmaceutical size reduction affects the stability, appearance and the various properties of the product.

1. Stability

A product with a smaller, more uniform particle size is more stable and less likely to separate out. This translates to a longer shelf life and less waste.

2. Appearance

The smaller and more uniform the particle size, the smoother and more homogenous the product. This is beneficial for aesthetic as well as practical purposes. Pharmaceutical preparations meant for external application must be free of any sedimentation and gritty particles that may irritate the skin or eyes.

3. Properties

  • Increased therapeutic efficacy: The smaller the particle, the greater the total surface area. With an increased surface area, the rates of dissolution and absorption are increased. Bioavailability improves, and the therapeutic dose can be lowered. 
  • Different options for drug delivery: Oral delivery of drugs is not always ideal. Pharmaceutical size reduction can render particles small enough so that drugs can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
  • Improved processing: The size of the individual particles affects the bulk properties of the ingredient. A narrow particle size range distribution means that solids and powders are easier to mix effectively, and flow properties are improved.

Pion Inc.: Your Partner in Pharmaceutical Size Reduction

Our high-pressure homogenizers offer unique benefits for the pharmaceutical industry. BEE brand high-pressure homogenizers are used all over the world to produce nano / micro emulsions and dispersions, lipids and suspensions for injectables, vaccines, targeted drug delivery, inhalants, time release, anesthetics and antibiotics. Our modular equipment allows you to optimize and control the mixing process by varying the cavitation, shear and impact forces applied to your product.

We are keenly aware of the stringent regulations applied to pharmaceutical manufacturing; and we’re looking forward to working with you in bringing your product to market.

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