Effect of Shear Applied during a Pharmaceutical Process on Near Infrared Spectra

Eduardo Hernández, Pallavi Pawar, Sandra Rodriguez, Sergiy Lysenko, Fernando J. Muzzio, Rodolfo J. Romañach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This study describes changes observed in the near-infrared (NIR) diffuse reflectance (DR) spectra of pharmaceutical tablets after these tablets were subjected to different levels of strain (exposure to shear) during the mixing process. Powder shearing is important in the mixing of powders that are cohesive. Shear stress is created in a system by moving one surface over another causing displacements in the direction of the moving surface and is part of the mixing dynamics of particulates in many industries including the pharmaceutical industry. In continuous mixing, shear strain is developed within the process when powder particles are in constant movement and can affect the quality attributes of the final product such as dissolution. These changes in the NIR spectra could affect results obtained from NIR calibration models. The aim of the study was to understand changes in the NIR diffuse reflectance spectra that can be associated with different levels of strain developed during blend shearing of laboratory samples. Shear was applied using a Couette cell and tablets were produced using a tablet press emulator. Tablets with different shear levels were measured using NIR spectroscopy in the diffuse reflectance mode. The NIR spectra were baseline corrected to maintain the scattering effect associated with the physical properties of the tablet surface. Principal component analysis was used to establish the principal sources of variation within the samples. The angular dependence of elastic light scattering shows that the shear treatment reduces the size of particles and produces their uniform and highly isotropic distribution. Tablet compaction further reduces the diffuse component of scattering due to realignment of particles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-466
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Spectroscopy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation
  • Spectroscopy


  • Diffuse reflectance
  • Light scattering
  • Near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy
  • Pharmaceutics
  • Shear
  • Tablet compaction


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