AAPS PharmSciTech

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 10–22 | Cite as

Feasibility studies in spheronization and scale-up of ibuprofen microparticulates using the rotor disk fluid-bed technology

  • Beatrice Nkem Chukwumezie
  • Mark Wojcik
  • Paul Malak
  • Moji Christianah Adeyeye


The aim of this study was to develop spheronized microparticulates as a drug delivery system using the 1-step closed rotor disk fluid-bed technology, and to scale up the batch spheronization process. Ibuprofen was used as the model drug and microcrystalline cellulose/sodium carboxymethyl cellulose hydrocolloid (Avicel® RC-581 or CL-611) was present as the diluent/binder. The mixture, in 1∶1 ratio, was blended with and without 1% sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and spheronized with the rotor disk insert, using either water or hydroxypropylmethyl cellulose (HPMC) as binder. Fluid-bed machines (Vector/Freund Flo-Coater model) FLM-1 (with 9-inch rotor insert for 0.75 kg) and FLM-15 (with a 12-inch and 19-inch rotor inserts for 1 kg and 5, 10 kg, respectively) were used. The critical process parameters included inlet air temperature, rotor disk speed and configuration, air flow, and rate of binder application. The 1 kg batch containing SLS that was made with 12-inch smooth stainless, steel or waffle teflon plates rotating at 500 rpm had desirable characteristics. The sphericity values were 0.88 and 0.91, with percent yield of 85.4 and 91.2 and drug content values of 94.47% and 91.44%, respectively. The spheroids showed good flow properties with respective rapid drug release (Q20=83.27 and 91.75). No difference was seen in the Avicel RC-581 and CL-611. Based on the 1 kg data, Avicel RC-581 and smooth stainless steel and waffle teflon plates (12 inch and 19 inch), the batch was scaled up to 5 and 10 kg. The scale-up parameters included rotor speed (124–300 rpm) and spray rate (90–140 g/min). The scale-up batches had similar flow characteristics, release rate, and size distribution. The geometric mean diameter increased as batch size increased, and slightly bigger spheroids were obtained using the waffle teflon plate. Ibuprofen spheres with very good physical characteristics were developed using the rotor disk fluid-bed technology, a 1-step closed process that did not require additional unit processes.

Key words

Rotor disk spheronization fluid-bed technology scale-up ibuprofen microcrystalline cellulose/sodium carboxymethyl cellulose 


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Copyright information

© American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beatrice Nkem Chukwumezie
    • 1
  • Mark Wojcik
    • 2
  • Paul Malak
    • 2
  • Moji Christianah Adeyeye
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Pharmaceutical SciencesDuquesne UniversityPittsburgh
  2. 2.Vector Pharmaceutical ServicesCranbury

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