In 2015, nearly 15% of people worldwide used a pharmaceutical tablet; add half a billion people to that statistic and you have the 2018 estimates. (1) The pharmaceutical tablet market is booming, with no sign of letting up in the near future. Researchers involved in the ingredient production process must therefore select ingredients that will help their product stand out in an already saturated market. In this post, we tackle the excipient ingredients, specifically the sugar sphere and four key advantages of using it as a tablet core.
Sugar spheres are porous pellets that are typically composed of sucrose and starch. Comprising a tablet’s core, the pellets are blended with other tablet ingredients, such as active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Because they are most commonly found in sustained release tablets, other excipients may also be found in the mixture. Its spherical shape is ideal due to its flowability, particularly when being poured in bulk. Additionally, after blending the pellet with APIs and other excipients, compression of the newly-formed tablet occurs; this process is easier and more efficient with a spherical pellet.
Range of Available Particle Sizes
To ensure uniform application of APIs, sugar spheres particle size should be closely distributed. The international sieve series defines μm limits for particle size based on American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard sieves. A wide range of particle sizes are available on the market, which is hugely beneficial to laboratories that require a variety of sizes for different tablets.
Pellets that are friable are easily crumbled; this trait can be good in some situations, but is certainly not a desirable trait for pharmaceutical tablets. Sugar spheres are advantageous because of their low friability, which allows them to withstand the rigorous tablet coating, handling, and other production processes. Specifically, one study cited friability values of 0.6-1.7% as acceptable for withstanding these processes. (2)
BEEI: Quality Tablet Production Equipment
Once you have sugar spheres available for use, layering of APIs and other excipients over the pellet can take place. This process requires use of a high quality laboratory homogenizer, which can have downstream effects for the consumer, including ease in swallowing, visual attractiveness, and appropriate internal release.
BEE International Technology, maker of laboratory homogenizers, is globally renowned by laboratory managers and researchers. We produce homogenizers that can yield a variety of relevant products, such as emulsions, suspensions, dispersions and lipids. Importantly, these products and more are incorporated into sugar sphere-based tablets described above. In addition, BEEI has extensive experience assisting its product users as they transition through the drug manufacturing process.
Visit BEEI here to learn more about how their homogenizers can help you synthesize a high quality pharmaceutical tablet. To find out more information about how homogenization can help your particle size reduction applications, download our FREE eBook below: