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Pharm Dev Technol. 2004;9(1):1-13.

Micron-size drug particles: common and novel micronization techniques.

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Department of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Christian Albrecht University Kiel, Kiel, Germany.


Drug powders containing micron-size drug particles are used in several pharmaceutical dosage forms. Many drugs, especially newly developed substances, are poorly water soluble, which limits their oral bioavailability. The dissolution rate can be enhanced by using micronized drugs. Small drug particles are also required in administration forms, which require the drug in micron-size size due to geometric reasons in the organ to be targeted (e.g., drugs for pulmonary use). The common technique for the preparation of micron-size drugs is the mechanical comminution (e.g., by crushing, grinding, and milling) of previously formed larger particles. In spite of the widespread use of this technique, the milling process does not represent the ideal way for the production of small particles because drug substance properties and surface properties are altered in a mainly uncontrolled manner. Thus, techniques that prepare the drug directly in the required particle size are of interest. Because physicochemical drug powder properties are decisive for the manufacturing of a dosage form and for therapeutic success, the characterization of the particle surface and powder properties plays an important role. This article summarizes common and novel techniques for the production of a drug in small particle size. The properties of the resulting products that are obtained by different techniques are characterized and compared.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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