Particle Grinding vs High Pressure Homogenizing in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Posted by Tal Shechter on Aug 31, 2016 12:30:00 PM

high pressure homogenizingA 2013 article by Sushant et al. published in the International Research Journal of Pharmacy lays out the objectives of particle size reduction in pharmaceutics. Below, we have summarized the benefits of particle size reduction in drug manufacturing:

  • An increased surface area is more cost effective for manufacturers.
  • Drugs will have increased absorption and therapeutic effectiveness because as particle size decreases, the absorption rate increases.
  • Narrow size range distribution means solids and powders are easier to mix effectively.
  • Emulsions are stable with effective particle size reduction.
  • All pharmaceutical preparations meant for external application must be free of any sedimentation and gritty particles that may irritate the skin or eyes.
  • Pharmaceutical products look better due to improved physical appearance from particles mixing well.

Particle Grinder or High Pressure Homogenizer: Which One to Use?

Now that you know the benefits of particle size reduction, how can you achieve the best results? Let’s look into two of the most popular methods, using a particle grinder and using a high pressure homogenizer:

A particle grinder uses mechanical force to crush and grind larger solid particles into smaller solid particles. This process is also known as milling, and is often an important initial step in drug production. Examples of particle grinders include roller mills, which use cylindrical rollers to grind materials; and hammer mills, which crush materials by repeated hammer impacts.

A high pressure homogenizer also works to reduce particle size, but in fluids. It works by forcing liquid at high pressure through a very narrow nozzle. Through the application of several forces (cavitation, turbulence, impact and shear), the liquid that flows out of the high pressure homogenizer now has a reduced and more uniform particle size.

Therefore, your choice will depend on your final product as well as the particular step in the process. A particle grinder is ideal for creating fine powders, while a high pressure homogenizer processes fluids. You may well use both types of equipment in the manufacture of a drug.

DeBEE High Pressure Homogenizers

Homogenizers are the most efficient fluid processing equipment for particle size reduction. Unlike a hammer mill that uses only one mechanical force (impact), BEE International’s patented technology utilizes ALL available mechanical forces.

From the R&D laboratory, through clinical trials and eventually to manufacturing, DeBEE high pressure homogenizers produce top quality end products including nano/micro emulsions and dispersions, lipids and suspensions for injectables, vaccines, targeted drug delivery, inhalants, time release, anesthetics and antibiotics.

We’re Here to Help

If you’re unsure, contact us for help in determining exactly what particle size reduction equipment is a fit for your product needs.

Want to learn more about how BEE International's range of high pressure homogenizers can benefit your pharmaceutical products? Download our free eBook “Advantages of BEE Homogenizers for the Pharmaceutical Industry”:

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