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A 26 April 2014 Tablets & Capsules automation The advantages of fully automated dissolution testing Kevin Whitkanack Sotax Auto-samplers eliminate some manual steps and enable labora- tory staff to achieve semi-automatic dissolution testing, but many steps still require hands-on intervention. This article dis- cusses and illustrates the operation of a fully automated disso- lution testing system, which frees lab staff to pursue more valu- able activities. utomation as it relates to dissolution testing has come to mean different things to different people. But true automation implies running several unattended lots in succession. That includes complete automation of media preparation, automatic measured dispensing of media to the vessels, and automatic cleaning of the bath between lots. A truly automated dissolution test allows you to queue different methods or to run the same test back to back and over and over again. Despite the industry's success in automating the sam- pling steps involved in dissolution testing, the most labor- intensive steps—setting up the test and cleaning the equipment afterward—have remained largely unchanged. "When we look at the operational capabilities to deter- mine which take the most hands-on time, the setup and cleanup may reflect the greatest time requirement. It is quite interesting, however, that sample collection with an auto-sampler is the main area in which semi-automation is applied to dissolution testing" [1]. The biggest benefit of automating dissolution testing is the efficiency gains it brings to the lab. Gaining that efficiency is as simple as installing a robust system to batch several lots of samples in a row by cleaning and fill- ing vessels. In fact, filling vessels is not hard, nor is clean- ing them. Automation in that sense isn't doing a hard job, but simply following a routine that allows you to make multiple unattended runs in a row. e-Whitkanackart_26-29_Masters 4/3/14 2:38 PM Page 26

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