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Title: Advanced physical characterisation of milled pharmaceutical solids
Author: Wang, Duo
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2013
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Milling has been the key unit operation in controlling particle size of pharmaceutical powders at scale. The work carried out in this thesis is a comprehensive study of the stability of pharmaceutical solids post-milling and upon storage, from molecular level up to bulk handling scale. It is an attempt to fill key gaps in knowledge with regard to the anomalous behaviour and physical instability of milled powder through the development of advanced novel techniques. The physical instability of milled or amorphous pharmaceutical powders often manifest in changes in derived powder properties. Moisture induced dimensional changes of amorphous lactose compacts were monitored by in-situ environmental controlled optical profilometry. The complex volumetric behaviour involves glassy-rubbery phase transition followed by amorphous-crystalline transformation under the influence of water. These associated changes were not observed in physical aging of amorphous lactose compacts by measuring specific surface area. At the molecular level these physical changes are governed by relaxation processes. By operating within the linear viscoelastic region, low strain uni-axial indentation of small molecule organic glasses at a range of temperature generated master curves using WLF analysis. Viscoelastic behaviour of these materials were determined to be controlled by local β-relaxation around the glass transition rather than globally for polymers. At the bulk level, due to the non-equilibrium nature of milled and amorphous powders, their surface energies tends to be significantly higher than the equivalent crystalline forms. This can be detrimental as highly cohesive and poor flowing powders are difficult to process. The unconfined compression test was adapted to measure cohesion of small weak pharmaceutical powder compacts. More significantly, a positive relationship was confirmed between surface energetics and cohesion of modified D-mannitol. At the particle level, the mechanism(s) by which milling or micronisation creates low levels of amorphicity remains unclear. MOUDI fractionation of bulk micronised α-lactose monohydrate and characterisation of fine fractions has clearly demonstrated that micronisation as well as mechanical particle size reduction also generates low levels of highly amorphous ultrafine particles within bulk crystalline powder which will have a significant effect on powder physical stability post-milling and upon storage. In conclusion, using the novel techniques developed here, significant progress has been towards understanding the physical behaviour of milled and amorphous pharmaceutical solids.
Supervisor: Williams, Daryl ; Heng, Jerry Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available