Tablets & Capsules


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14 January/February 2021 Tablets & Capsules Selecting an R&D capsule filler For R&D, using a bench-top capsule filler is ideal because it takes up less space and is easier to maintain than a larger, floor-standing unit. Also, it is important to select a machine that accepts the full range of capsule sizes as well as modifications or variations on capsule bushings that hold different capsule types with different tolerances. The most common capsule types are gelatin and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC). Capsule sizes range from size 000 on the large end to size 4 or 5 on the small end, with the most common sizes being 0, 1, and 2. Several capsule sizes are also available in less common elongated (EL) versions, and double-blind (DB) capsules are also available for over-encapsulating compar- ator products during clinical trials. Dosing disks. Capsule filler dosing disks may vary in thickness depending on the capsule weight required. This means that the disk thickness can be used to provide a specific weight range based on factors such as pow- der density and tamping-pin setting. The tamping-pin setting determines the amount of compaction applied to the slugs. Tamping pins are usually set by starting at the highest position to allow the greatest volume of uncompacted powder into the capsule then incrementally reducing the setting to increase the compaction until attaining the required capsule weight. A thicker dosing disk provides a larger powder slug and weight, while a thinner dosing disk provides a smaller slug and weight. A technique that can be useful when encapsulating lightweight powders is to use a dosing disk that is one size smaller than the capsule size. For example, you might set up the machine with a size 4 dosing disk when using size 3 capsules. The size 4 slug will give you less weight in the size 3 capsule, which can help to avoid weight-variation issues that can be associated with light powders. Basic features. Basic features to look for include a vari- able-speed drive, data transfer capability, doors that open on all sides for observation and access for maintenance, and ease of modular installation using control connectors and power plugs. Built-in internal and external (but inside the cabinet to reduce noise) vacuum pumps for process operation are necessary for a clean operation. Depending on the user's location, an air compressor inside the porta- ble cabinet may also be needed. If you plan to process a large number of capsules upon completing the research, a For R&D, using a bench-top capsule filler is ideal because it takes up less space and is easier to maintain than a larger, floor-standing unit. Photo 2: Controls should be located outside an isolator and connected via an elephant trunk cable to the capsule filler and any connected modules. Photo 3: Multiple minitablet feeder modules can be mounted to a single capsule filler, allowing the operator to fill each capsule with several different tablets. Photo 1: Placing the capsule filler inside an isolator allows for the safe encapsulation of highly potent compounds.

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