BEE International Blog

Don’t Waste Time! 5 Ways to Optimize your Mixing Process

Posted by Deb Shechter on Oct 2, 2015 11:30:00 AM

don-t-waste-time-5-ways-to-optimize-your-mixing-processOn average, four out of five Americans are prescribed antibiotics each year. (1) This equates to nearly 255 million people using a single pharmaceutical product, and does not take into account the many other products being used on a regular basis! To maintain consistent product availability, pharmaceutical manufacturers must have optimized mixing processes to achieve timely and efficient production. Following is a compilation of factors that can be adjusted on most homogenizers, which can optimize the mixing process and ultimately the product that will go to market.

  1. Pre-Mixing Treatment

Products tend to yield better results when heated prior to mixing; this is largely due to the effects of elevated temperature on viscosity, surface tension, and ability to aid the emulsification process. However, some products may actually fare better from pre-cooling; the optimal temperature is product-specific and should be tested in trial runs before experimentation.

  1. Reverse Flow vs. Parallel Flow

Reverse flow confers product-on-product shear and allows for more impact, which is optimal for disruption of cells with thick walls that are not easily penetrated. Parallel flow, on the other hand, confers product-on-equipment shear, a shorter process, and less impact so as not to disrupt intracellular components. Additionally, parallel flow provides less shear than reverse flow.

Most homogenizers offer either pattern; although both EC setups should produce good results, one might yield better results depending on the product and application. When you first run a product through the homogenizer, try it both ways to see which provides a better outcome.

  1. Operating Pressure

Reduced particle size is a measurable and successful outcome of the mixing process; increased operating pressure typically equates to decreased particle size. High quality homogenizers, such models produced by BEE International, can achieve a maximum operating pressure of 45,000 PSI.

  1. Number of Passes

Multiple homogenizer passes are frequently employed to achieve complete cell disruption and/or smallest possible particle size; case studies have shown that with each pass, a smaller particle size is achieved. (2) BEE International homogenizers are among few on the market that can achieve particle sizes of 0.1 µm after only one pass.

  1. Post-Mixing Treatment

Whereas elevated temperatures are recommended for pre-mixing treatment, when mixing has concluded the product temperature should be reduced immediately. This step is in place largely because elevated temperatures are detrimental to product stability; as such, some homogenizers contain a heat exchanger to quickly reduce temperature after mixing.

When you are ready to mix a product for the first time, run a few trials first. Determine what you are looking for: Smallest possible particle size? Disruption of a thick-walled cell? Then make adjustments to each of the above factors to identify the combination that will give your product optimal results.

Do you have a product that requires mixing but don’t have the proper equipment? BEE International Technology offers homogenizers with the ability to adjust all 5 factors in this post, which will help your lab produce nano/micro emulsions, dispersions, and suspensions. Visit us here to learn more about our products.

Topics: particle size reduction

4 Roadblocks to Successful Nutraceutical Production & Sales

Posted by Deb Shechter on Oct 1, 2015 2:00:00 PM

4-roadblocks-to-successful-nutraceutical-production-sales-1If you believe that the foods you consume have an effect on your health status, you are not alone; in fact, you are joined by the likes of the Ancient Egyptians, Native Americans, and an increasing proportion of Western society. Nutraceuticals are food extracts that have a physiological benefit beyond basic nutrition requirements and are classified as dietary supplements in the United States. (1) Nutraceuticals comprise nearly ⅕ of the global pharmaceutical industry income, yet their role in disease prevention and treatment is not clear. Below is a compilation of headaches on both the biochemical and market level, and ways to avoid them in the future:

  1. High Proportion of Active Ingredients

While traditional pharmaceutical formulas contain 1-4 active ingredients, nutraceutical formulas contain up to 50 actives. This poses challenges around ingredient interaction, particle size, compression, uniformity and more which is why having an exact process for homogenization is critical.

Also problematic is the ratio of active ingredients to excipients; nutraceuticals contain ≥90% active ingredients, as compared to traditional pharmaceutical formulas, which only contain 10-30% actives. The space limitation for excipients is therefore significant in that it can cause problems around disintegration time and hardness. (2)

  1. Ingredient compatibility (or lack thereof)

Although nutraceuticals are intended to provide supplementary nutrition, some nutrients have an upper limit that, if exceeded, can cause toxicity symptoms or adverse nutrient interactions. For example, 75% of Americans are Vitamin D-deficient and frequently supplement Vitamin D through supplementation. (3) However, some supplements contain more than the recommended dose and, combined with natural intake, can lead to hypercalcemia and soft tissue calcification. People responsible for nutraceutical formulas should be well-versed in nutritional science and potential nutrient interactions, so as to make an informed decision about ingredient choice.

  1. Formula Packaging

When a manufacturer has optimized its nutraceutical formula, packaging must be carefully considered. Nutraceutical formulas are commonly packaged as pill tablets, gummies, powders, and gel liquids, yet not all modes of packaging are appropriate for all formulas. For example, if a probiotic supplement is intended for the lower intestine, it must be packaged in a way that protects it from the acidic stomach environment. In this case, a protective pill tablet would an appropriate choice over a digestible gummy or powder. Manufacturers should be deliberate in relating their product intent with its ability to affect the intended area. (4)

  1. Poor Government Regulation

In the United States, dietary supplements (and therefore nutraceuticals) are not subject to the stringent regulations placed on medicines and pharmaceuticals, as per the Dietary Supplement, Health, and Education Act of 1994. Although this may sound good, the FDA can pull a product off the market if it potentially causes harm to consumers, which is incredibly costly to the manufacturer. To avoid this migraine of a headache, nutraceutical companies should incorporate their own regulatory testing to ensure that the products they put on the market are safe, and even beneficial, to consumers.

On the journey to successful manufacture and sale of nutraceuticals, many of the hiccup areas can be avoided by simple experience or collaboration with someone who can lend expertise. In conjunction, use of high quality equipment will lead to production of high quality product. The high pressure homogenizer by BEE International Technology, one such example, is renowned for its ability to reduce particle size while maintaining uniformity; this capability is a key need in nutraceutical production.

Learn more by visiting them at

Topics: Pharmaceutical

Pharmaceutical Creams: Water or Oil Emulsion?

Posted by Deb Shechter on Sep 30, 2015 12:30:00 PM

pharmaceutical-creams-water-or-oil-emulsionAre you familiar with the proverb ‘oil and water don’t mix’? In the case of oil & vinegar salad dressing, the saying rings 100% true. Yet nearly every cream/ointment on the store shelves, from hand lotions to fungal creams to hair conditioner, is comprised of both oil and water. When these products are opened, the consumer is faced with a single homogenous mixture and no separation of layers. Such stability is achieved through emulsions, which can be prepared in two forms: either oil-in-water (o/w) or water-in-oil (w/o). This critical difference in base ingredient may determine how the active drug is released, and how it will achieve its intended goal. Read on for the difference between w/o and o/w emulsions, and information on which one best suits your laboratory’s agenda. (1)

Oil-in-Water (o/w) Emulsions

Prepared by suspending oil droplets in an aqueous phase, o/w emulsions are found in most moisturizers (both day and night creams) and topical steroid products. Homogenized milk, although classified as a food product, is one of the most well-known o/w emulsion. Thicker than lotion and easier to spread than ointments, o/w-based creams work by penetrating the wall of the skin’s stratum corneum to achieve a local effect. (2)

All emulsions, whether o/w or w/o, require an emulsifier to provide them with stability; o/w emulsions often require more than one emulsifier for optimal stability, but a variety of emulsifiers exist to suit this function. Polysorbate, sorbitan laurate, and cetearyl alcohol are just a few examples of emulsifiers that are compatible with o/w emulsions.

Water-in-Oil (w/o)

In contrast to o/w, w/o emulsions are prepared by dispersing water droplets in an oil solution. Depending on the oil’s properties (e.g. viscosity and density), four distinct types of w/o emulsions exist, and range in stability. Most makeup products and sunscreen are w/o emulsions; additionally, it forms the base for dry/sensitive skin treatments due to its milder nature and ability to leave the skin’s lipid bilayer intact. (3)

In contrast to o/w emulsions, w/o emulsions only require one emulsifier to achieve stability; however, because the hydrophilic balance must be within a range of approximately 3-6, there is a limited number of emulsifiers to select from. Sorbitan stearate, lecithin, lanolin/lanolin alcohols, and glyceryl monooleate are some examples of viable w/o emulsifiers. Comparatively, o/w emulsions do not have the limitation of hydrophilic balance so confer a wider selection of emulsifiers.

Which to Select?

In the case of w/o compared to o/w, which is the better option to use? Unfortunately, this dilemma does not lend itself to a cut-and-dry answer; your choice will largely depend on the type of product you are making, which emulsifiers you have access to, and the equipment you have available. No matter which you choose, however, you will require a homogenizer to synthesize your w/o or o/w emulsion. The homogenizer will shear fluid by forcing it through a restrictive valve, forming a high-quality emulsion.

BEE International Technology offers homogenizers that are both high-quality and reliable, and which can help your lab produce nano/micro emulsions, dispersions, and suspensions to be incorporated into your pharmaceutical cream. Visit us here to learn more about our products.

Do you and/or your company manufacture pharmaceutical creams and have experiential feedback to offer the readers? Leave your words of wisdom in the comments section!

Topics: Pharmaceutical

Homogenization Application: Vaccine Adjuvants

Posted by Deb Shechter on Sep 28, 2015 4:00:00 PM

homogenization-application-vaccine-adjuvantsEvery year, nearly 3 million human lives are preserved due to effective vaccination delivery. The 2014 Ebola outbreak is still fresh as wet paint; between Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, at least 11,291 lives were taken before introduction of VSV-EBOV. After its introduction, the region’s Ebola death toll was nearly extinguished. As researchers and developers of this essential product, it is our responsibility to ensure that vaccine composition is both safe and efficacious for the consumer. This starts with a critical look at the vaccine adjuvant you are using. Following is a synopsis of three well-known adjuvants, intended to inform your company’s vaccine protocols and/or introduce you to alternatives you may not yet be familiar with. (1)

  1. Aluminum - Introduced in 1926, aluminum is the most commonly used adjuvant, having seen great success in human vaccinations such as tetanus and diphtheria. The term encompasses several types of insoluble preparations that can directly capture the antigen, such as aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate, and aluminum potassium sulfate (alum). Aluminum salts stimulate a T helper 2 (Th2) immune response; this elicits a different mechanism of action than adjuvants that induce a T helper 1 (Th1) response, specifically in that Th2 cells mediate B cell differentiation. Preparation involves exposing aluminum ions (e.g. sulfates or chlorides) in aqueous solutions to alkaline conditions. Although its efficacy has been well established in over 60 years of use, recent concerns around its safety have spurned conflicting results, with the FDA citing its safety (2). Yet others, such as the National Vaccine Information Center, claim that the presence of aluminum interferes with cellular and metabolic processes, especially among children. (3)

  1. Freund’s Adjuvant, Complete & Incomplete - Named for its discoverer Jules T. Freund, Freund’s Adjuvant comes in two forms, both of which are comprised of a water-in-oil emulsion prepared through homogenization. If the emulsion contains mycobacteria (usually M. tuberculosis) it is classified as Complete Freund’s Adjuvant; Incomplete Freund’s Adjuvant is distinct solely in that it does not contain mycobacteria. Because the mycobacteria in Complete Freund’s Adjuvant attracts macrophages and other cells to the injection site, this form elicits a heightened Th1 immune response. Thus, Complete Freund’s Adjuvant is used for the initial injection while Incomplete Freund’s Adjuvant is used for boosters. Incomplete Freud’s Adjuvant works by stimulating a distinct Th2 immune response. Because of the strong initial immune reaction, Freund’s Adjuvant often causes granulomas at the injection site, which is one of the central drawbacks to this option. (4, 5)

  1. Monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA) - MPLA was developed as a low-toxicity derivative to lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a highly toxic component of Gram-negative bacterial cell walls. Lipid A, the anchor portion of LPS, is responsible for eliciting a strengthened Th1 immunological response. MPLA is unique in that it is one of the first Toll-like receptor agonists being used in human vaccinations, and also holds promise for incurring few side effects. (6)

Are you in need of equipment to support synthesis of one of these products? BEE International Technology is trusted by pharmaceutical researchers and lab managers around the world for good reason! It deliver an array of key benefits, such as production of nano/micro emulsions and dispersions and lipids and suspensions; these can be used for applications such as injectables, targeted drug delivery, inhalants, time release, anesthetics, and importantly, vaccinations.

In addition, we have extensive experience in the challenges that our pharmaceutical customers face as they transition from concept, through to R&D, clinical trials, all-important FDA approval and finally, to manufacturing.

Learn more by visiting

Topics: Pharmaceutical

4 Key Benefits of Reliable Homogenization

Posted by Deb Shechter on Sep 28, 2015 12:30:00 AM

5 Key Benefits of Reliable HomogenizationThe global pharmaceutical industry is a booming enterprise, with a 2015 net worth of nearly $300 billion. Specifically in the drug and medication sector, large corporations are making $1-3.5 billion each year. (1, 2) So who, or what, gets the credit for these growing monetary values? The drug development stage is critical to pharmaceutical success, specifically the process of homogenization, which makes key ingredients for a variety of products. Reliable homogenization in particular is fundamental to the output of high-quality products that consumers will purchase. Below is a compilation of pharmaceutical-related benefits reaped from simply choosing a reliable homogenizer:

  1. Consistent Product Composition

Uniform output is critical for drugs, delivering an even dispersal of ingredients in a given solution, which equates to consistency in active ingredient percentage and product composition. A tight distribution of uniform results reduces manufacturing product waste, driving down costs. Uniform results is touted by many homogenizer producers, but achieved to meet the stringent requirements of high end pharmaceutical drugs only by high quality products. 

  1. Durability

When surveyed on the attributes most important to them when purchasing a homogenizer, 92% of customers cited durability as #1. Durability is an ability to withstand wear, damage, or pressure; although such a product might cost more upon purchase, it will save more in the long run if it does not need to be replaced as frequently as a lower quality contender.  The second most important attribute was low maintenance, ranked as such by 86% of customers. (3)

  1. Fundamental Disease Treatments

The pharmaceutical industry as a whole caters to a plethora of conditions, both chronic and lethal. However, as of 2008, nearly 60% of drug treatments were poorly soluble, which reduces bioavailability. Nanocrystals, which are typically below 100 nm in size, have been shown to be effective in increasing drug bioavailability, and are produced using reliable equipment like the BEE high pressure homogenizer.

  1. Projected Pharmaceutical Industry Growth

Although a variety of factors have contributed to its tidal wave of growth, it is the ability of pharmaceutical products to achieve their specified purpose that hooks customers (both doctors and patients). This buy-in has allowed for evolution of an industry projected to reach $1 billion by 2020. (6) Assuming that the pharmaceutical industry continues on its positive trajectory, opportunities for hiring and laboratory/equipment modernization will increase in frequency.

The BEE High Pressure Homogenizer Advantage

At BEE International, we recognize that the goal for any plant is to increase overall production reliability to maximize output and we know equipment reliability is key to reliable production. Equipment reliability means subsystems and components function as intended without failure for production runs.

That’s why we ensure that our high pressure homogenizers are created with precision and quality engineering. To sustain the reliability of our products, we offer preventative maintenance programs and we provide maintenance guidelines and suggestions for customizations.

With on-site spare part inventory and online spare part inventory, only BEE International’s homogenizers have the ability to take a component off and activate a spare unit so production can continue. We know how much each run is worth to you and we ensure that our homogenizers are ready and easily repairable in the rare case something goes wrong.

If you are in need of a reliable homogenizer, have a look at our high pressure homogenizers. Our products are trusted by pharmaceutical researchers and lab managers around the world for key benefits, such as production of nano/micro emulsions, dispersions, and suspensions; importantly, this equipment can achieve particle sizes at or below 100 nm, a key benefit for researchers & corporations that synthesize pharmaceutical products.

Learn more by visiting

Topics: Pharmaceutical, high pressure

An Overview of Colloidal Drug Carrier Systems: Part 4

Posted by Deb Shechter on Sep 25, 2015 11:30:00 AM

an-overview-of-colloidal-drug-carrier-systems-part-4In part 1 of our look at different colloidal drug carrier systems used by pharmaceutical researchers around the world, we looked at nanosuspensions and liposomes. In part 2, we explored mixed micelles and colloidal liquid crystalline structures. And in part 3, we focused on microemulsions and nanoemulsions

Today in part 4, we look at nanocapsules and polymer nanoparticles.

  • Nanocapsules

Nanocapsules are nanoparticles that are comprised of two basic components – a shell and space – into which substances or materials can be inserted. Nanocapsules are biocompatible, chemically stable, and able to protect the encapsulated substance or material from unwanted effects (e.g. dissolution in liquids, etc.).   

Generally, the maximum size for a nanocapsule is 100 nm, and they also have a very high penetration capability. In fact, nanocapsules can even penetrate areas of the human body that are “closed”, such as the brain.

In terms of pharmaceutical applications, nanocapsules create “smart drugs” that bind to specific cells, and have certain chemical receptors – thus allowing the drug to target a disease or cancer. Other advantages of nanocapsules for pharmaceutical applications include: longer site-specific dose retention, faster absorption of active drug substances, increased drug bioavailability, higher safety and efficacy, better patient compliance, larger dose loading with smaller dose volumes, reduction in toxic effect, and improved pharmacokinetics.  

  • Polymer nanoparticles

Polymer nanoparticles are solid colloidal particles that range in size from about 10 to 1000 nm. They are used to effectively transmit drugs, proteins and DNA to target organs and cells, and their small size enables them to effectively permeate cell membranes and achieve stability in the blood stream.

In pharmaceutical applications, the drug is dissolved, encapsulated, attached or entrapped within the nanoparticles matrix. However, given their relatively high surface area, the drug may also be absorbed on the surface.

Key advantages of polymer nanoparticles as a colloidal drug carrier system include increased stability of volatile agents, and the fact that drugs can be easily and cost-effectively created in large volumes. They are also relatively more efficacious vs. traditional oral and intravenous methods, and the choice of polymer and the ability to modify drug release makes polymer nanoparticles ideal for use in cancer therapy, delivering vaccines, contraceptives, and delivering targeted antibiotics.   

BEE International Technology: Relied on by Pharmaceutical Researchers Worldwide

At BEE International, our technology is trusted by pharmaceutical researchers worldwide who need to create nano/micro emulsions and dispersions, lipids and suspensions for a variety of applications, including: injectables, vaccines, targeted drug delivery, inhalants, time release, anesthetics and antibiotics.

We also understand the challenging and sometimes risky journey that pharmaceutical companies take as they bring their important and innovative products to the market.  We are proud to be a part of their success!

Learn more by visiting

Topics: particle size reduction, Pharmaceutical

An Overview of Colloidal Drug Carrier Systems: Part 3

Posted by Deb Shechter on Sep 24, 2015 11:30:00 AM

an-overview-of-colloidal-drug-carrier-systems-part-3In part 1 of our look at different colloidal drug carrier systems used by pharmaceutical researchers, we looked at nanosuspensions and liposomes. In part 2, we looked at mixed micelles and colloidal liquid crystalline structures.

Today in part 3, we look at microemulsions and nanoemulsions.

  • Microemulsions

Microemulsions are clear, thermodynamically stable (a state in which a chemical system is not consuming or releasing heat energy) isotropic mixtures of water, oil (or possible different oilefins and hydrocarbons), and surfactant. A cosurfactant may also be added to the mix.

There are three primary kinds of microemulsions: direct, reversed and bicontinuous. Direct microemulsions are comprised of oil dispersed in water (o/w). Reversed microemulsions are comprised of water dispersed in oil (w/o). Bicontinous microemulsions are comprised of oil and water existing as a continuous phase.

Microemulsions have droplets that are generally between 10-100 nm, and because of their large interfacial areas, relative to micellar solutions, they have greater solubilizing capacity for hydrophilic and lipophilic drugs (e.g. Sandimmun Optoral™, Neoral™, etc.). However, because of their significant concentration of surfactant, microemulsions are typically limited to dermal and peroral applications.

  • Nanoemulsions

Nanoemulsions, which are sometimes called sub-micron emulsions (SME), are tiny lipid droplets with mean diameters of typically between 50 – 1000 nm, and an average droplet size of 100 – 500 nm. They are comprised of surfactants (usually 10-20% oil with .5-2% emulsifying agent like egg or soybean lecithin) that have been deemed Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).   

Nanoemulsions are created using high-pressure homogenization, and because of their lipophilic interior (capacity for dissolving in lipids), they are often used to transport lipophilic compounds. Nanoemulsions also have significant bioactive effects, and are capable of transporting lipids into the skin. Also of particular interest and important to pharmaceutical researchers is the fact that nanoemulsions do not cream, and thus can be used in sprayable products.  

Stay Tuned for Part 4

In part 4 of our overview of colloidal drug carrier systems, we will look at nanocapsules and polymer nanoparticles.

BEE International Technology: Trusted by Pharmaceutical Researchers

At BEE International, our technology has been specifically designed to deliver key benefits that are essential to pharmaceutical researchers who need to produce nano/micro emulsions and dispersions, lipids and suspensions for a variety of applications, such as: injectables, vaccines, targeted drug delivery, inhalants, time release, anesthetics and antibiotics.

We also understand the rigorous journey from idea through to manufacturing, and support our customers every step of the way. We are proud to be a part of their success in bringing new, better and safer products to the market!     

Learn more by visiting

Topics: particle size reduction, Pharmaceutical

An Overview of Colloidal Drug Carrier Systems: Part 2

Posted by Deb Shechter on Sep 23, 2015 11:30:00 AM

an-overview-of-colloidal-drug-carrier-systems-part-2In part 1 of our look at different colloidal drug carrier systems used by pharmaceutical researchers, we highlighted nanosuspensions and lipsomes.

Today in part 2, we continue with a look at mixed micelles and colloidal liquid crystalline structures.

  • Mixed Micelles

Mixed micelles are comprised of compounds that have poor water solubility, and are dissolved in the center and thus blend with the hydrophobic tails (these are two water repellent string-like objects attached to the hydophilic heads).

Mixed micelles are the primary way in which lipids (i.e. organic compounds that are fatty acids or derivatives of fatty acids that are insoluble in water, but soluble in organic solvents) transfer to the intestine’s cell surface, so that they can be absorbed.

Mixed micelles typically have high critical micelle concentration (CMC), and thus are unstable when strongly diluted (such as is the case when diluted in blood). Furthermore, some mixed micelles have toxic side effects, and they also exhibit an unpleasant taste in peroral liquids due to the tensides (detergents).

  • Colloidal Liquid Crystalline Structures

There are two types of liquid crystalline phases (a.k.a. mesophases): lytropic and thermotropic.

Lytropic liquid crystalline phases are materials that produce liquid crystals by adding solvents, so that the concentration of water soluble amphiphiles (a special class of surface active molecules called surfactant) increases. This is necessary in order to prevent the solvents from dissolving them. Temperature also plays a key role in lytropic liquid crystalline phases.

Thermotropic liquid crystalline phases do not have a distinct melting point, but produce crystals within a certain temperature range. Pharmaceutical researchers leverage this outcome in their work by maintaining the liquid crystalline states of their drugs at lower (i.e. “supercooled”) temperatures.  

Both lytropic and thermotropic liquid crystals are used as drug delivery systems because they can improve the dissolution of drugs that are otherwise poorly water soluble. However, as with mixed micelles, tenside concentrations are relatively high and the collodidal dispersions occur only within a very specific, slim range of parameters. And while they are thermodynamically stable and self-assembling, they revert to their prior basic micellar or molecular dispersed state when water is added. 

Stay Tuned for Part 3

In part 3 of our overview of colloidal drug carrier systems, we will explore microemulsions and nanoemulsions.

BEE International Technology: Trusted by Pharmaceutical Researchers

Our innovative technology is trusted by drug researchers and lab managers around the world because it delivers an array of key benefits for producing nano/micro emulsions and dispersions, lipids and suspensions for a variety of applications, including: injectables, vaccines, targeted drug delivery, inhalants, time release, anesthetics and antibiotics.

In addition, we have extensive experience in the challenges that our pharmaceutical customers face as they transition from concept, through to R&D, clinical trials, all-important FDA approval and finally, to manufacturing.   

Learn more by visiting 

Topics: particle size reduction, Pharmaceutical

Particle Size Reduction & Distribution in the Ceramics Industry

Posted by Deb Shechter on Sep 8, 2015 11:30:00 AM

particle-size-reduction-distribution-in-the-ceramics-industryParticle Size Reduction & Distribution in the Ceramics Industry

Particle size reduction and distribution is crucial to manufacturing ceramics, and manipulating the transport, mechanical properties and densification of oxides and minerals (e.g. aluminum oxide to zirconium oxide). Particle sizes range fairly broadly, from smaller than 100 nm to more than 100 µm.

Particle Size Reduction & Distribution for Electronic Materials

The electronic materials industry uses ceramic, metal, alloy and oxide powders in a variety of applications.  Whether manufacturing a single crystal, film or paste; particle size reduction and controlled dispersion of these powders significantly enhances their dielectric, resistive and conductive properties.  This is done through improved particle packing, increased homogeneity and improved mechanical properties (eg. better green strength and reduced porosity in barium titanate slip)

Particle Size Reduction & Distribution for Fuel Cells

Engineers rely on particle size reduction and distribution in order to control the chemical and physical properties of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) starting powders, as well as overall fuel cell performance (eg. such as compsite cathodes manufactured from LSCF and either GDC or SDC).  Final porosity, transport properties and thermal expansivity can all be manipulated by controlling the starting particle sizes of these powders.  The goal is to find cleaner and more efficient ways to produce electricity that alleviates dependence on coal and oil.

Particle size Reduction for Powders and Mixtures 

Particle size reduction and controlling distribution is widely used in ceramics, electronics, fuel cells and other industries.  Materials such as alumina (aluminum oxide), iron oxide, PZT (lead zirconium titanate), engineered solar glass and bio glass powders are commonly used in a variety of ceramics and can be some of the most difficult to process.

To achieve successful particle size reduction and distribution, it is necessary to generate forces directly to the individual particle. This can be done in a variety of ways.  However as these high tech industries require a trend toward smaller particle sizes, current methods of processing become more expensive and less efficient.  Many technologies tend to waste significant energy that is absorbed by the grinding media; or lose the precision to effect the individual particle when processing down to and below 1 micron.

BEE homogenizers have been creating sub-micron and nano materials with pharmaceutical powders and emulsions for 20 years.

BEE International Chemical Process Equipment 

At BEE International, our chemical process equipment is used by customers in the ceramics industry to improve a wide range of materials by expanding their capabilities, and creating more diverse reactions.

Specifically, our particle size reduction homogenizer technology creates more consistent emulsions and dispersions with a tighter distribution of smaller particles which:

  • increases surface area
  • improves chemical reactions
  • reduces the quantity of costly components
  • eliminates the need for volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • maximizes particle packaging
  • increases dense cross section of final products
  • improves particle coating during formulations
  • increases conductivity
  • creates a smoother surface quality and reduced porosity
  • allows for finer printed features      

In addition, our modular technology offers unique processing setups that solve specific processing challenges, such as: dual feed for addition of secondary additives, abrasive materials or catalysts; dual jets to increase impact velocities for hard materials; and high viscosity chemical process equipment solutions up to and above 100,000 cPs.

To learn more about our groundbreaking technology that is used by ceramics industry manufacturers around the world, visit:

Topics: Chemical

An Overview of Colloidal Drug Carrier Systems: Part 1

Posted by Deb Shechter on Sep 7, 2015 11:30:00 AM

an-overview-of-colloidal-drug-carrier-systems-part-1Pharmaceutical researchers are constantly striving to advance the profession and science of drug therapy. However, impeding their potentially life-saving mission are several obstacles that relate to of drug molecules, which include: insufficient bioavailability, poor water solubility, fluctuating plasma levels, and high food dependency.

One approach to developing customized drug carriers that overcome these major obstacles through colloidal carriers (a.k.a. nanosized carriers) – particularly with respect to improving bioavailability of active ingredients. In this article, we begin our look at the some of the drug colloidal systems that are available to pharmaceutical researchers.


Nanosuspensions are generally regarded as the simplest colloidal drug carrier. They are saturated solutions with a drug payload of almost 100%, and have a particle distribution of below one micrometer.

Despite their simplicity, particle growth is a risk factor with nanosuspensions, and can occur when the molecules dissolve in the environment and emerge later on the surface of the larger particles (this is referred to as “Ostwald ripening). As such, extreme care and attention has to be paid when reducing particles for drugs with tiny safety margins.  Currently, the only two registered nanosuspensions for immediate delivery are Rapamune™ and Emend™.


Another colloidal drug carrier is liposomes, which are comprised of one or multiple lipid bilayers of amphiphilic lipids (such as cholesterol phospholipids, glycolipids, etc.). Size ranges from about 20 nm to a few micrometers, with membranes of about 5 nm.  

Liposomes are classified based on size, number of bilayers, and whether there exists inner vesicles within a vesicle. There are five classifications:

  • Large Multilamellar Liposomes (MLV)

  • Large Unilamellar Vesicles (LUV)

  • Small Unilamellar Vesicles (SUV)

  • Oligolamellar Large Vesicles (OLV

  • Multivesicular Vesicles (MVV)

Some drug researchers use niosomes in order to prevent liposomes from being rapidly degraded and rendered unstable by several factors, including: pH level in the stomach, intestinal enzymes, bile salts, and during storage when unsaturated fatty acids are hydrolyzed, or when the ester bindings of phospholipids oxidized. There is still ongoing investigation to conclude whether niosomes are superior to liposomes in vivo.  

Stay Tuned for Part 2

In part 2 of our overview of colloidal drug carrier systems, we will explore mixed micelles, colloidal liquid crystalline structures and microemulsions.

BEE International Technology: Trusted by Pharmaceutical Researchers

If you are a drug researcher or lab manager, then we invite you to discover our innovative technology, which offers unique benefits for producing nano/micro emulsions and dispersions, lipids and suspensions for injectables, vaccines, targeted drug delivery, inhalants, time release, anesthetics and antibiotics.

We are familiar with the long road our pharmaceutical customers travel: from an idea to R&D, clinical trials, FDA approval and manufacturing. We provide benefits for each phase of product development, because we like to be a part of our customer's success!

Learn more by visiting 

Topics: Pharmaceutical

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