A drop penetration method to measure powder blend wettability

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Water wettability of pharmaceutical blends affects important quality attributes of final products. We investigate the wetting properties of a pharmaceutical blend lubricated with Magnesium Stearate (MgSt) as a function of the mechanical shear strain applied to the blend. We measure the penetration dynamics of sessile drops deposited on slightly compressed powder beds. We consider a blend composed of 9% Acetaminophen 90% Lactose and 1% MgSt by weight. Comparing the penetration time of water and a reference liquid Polydimethylsiloxane (silicon oil) we obtain an effective cosine of the contact angle with water, based on a recently developed drop penetration method. We repeat the experiments for blends exposed to increasing levels of shear strain and demonstrate a significant decrease in water wettability (decrease in the cosine of the contact angle). The results are consistent with the development of a hydrophobic film coating the powder particles as a result of the increased shear strain. Finally, we show that, as expected dissolution times increase with the level of shear strain. Therefore, the proposed drop penetration method could be used to directly assess the state of lubrication of a pharmaceutical blend and act as a quality control on powder blend attributes before the blend is tableted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-118
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmaceutical Science


  • Blend properties
  • Liquid-powder interaction
  • Powder mixing
  • Powder wettability

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