How can you improve the overall pharmaceutical coating process?

Purdue University investigates pharmaceutical tablet coating variability

How can you improve the overall pharmaceutical coating process? Purdue University used Rocky DEM's polyhedral elements to model particle shapes and breakage.

"Rocky DEM was our tool of choice, with its capability to model tablet shapes using polyhedral elements that accurately predict real-world particle behavior. Traditional DEM software uses bondedsphere elements, which can produce artificial roughness that significantly affects the accuracy of tablet dynamics simulation.”

Carl Wassgren

Professor, School of Mechanical Engineering and Department of Industrial and Physical Pharmacy Director, Center for Particulate Products and Processes Purdue University.

To improve pharmaceutical industry processes related to spray-coating tablets, Purdue University researchers needed to identify how scale-up affects complex tablet dynamics in a coating pan. The goal was to identify intra-tablet coating variability.

The team at Purdue University used Rocky DEM’s polyhedral element capability to model tablets in coating pans of various sizes. A GPU-based algorithm was applied to determine the exposure time of each tablet’s surface area elements in a simulated spray.

Rocky DEM simulations offered insight into how tablet mixing affects spray coating, a scenario that is impractical to accomplish with experimental studies. The software’s GPU processing capability reduced the time needed to complete these lengthy simulations.


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