The aim of this study was to investigate the capability of X-ray microtomography to obtain information relating to powder characteristics such as wall thickness and solid volume fraction for hollow, polymer-stabilised spray dried dispersion (SDD) particles. SDDs of varying particle properties, with respect to shell wall thickness and degree of particle collapse, were utilised to assess the capability of the approach.

The results demonstrate that the approach can provide insight into the morphological characteristics of these hollow particles, and thereby a means to understand/predict the processability and performance characteristics of the bulk material. Quantitative assessments of particle wall thickness, particle/void volume and thereby solid volume fraction were also demonstrated to be achievable. The analysis was also shown to be able to qualitatively assess the impact of the drying rate on the morphological nature of the particle surfaces, thus providing further insight into the final particle shape.

The approach demonstrated a practical means to access potentially important particle characteristics for SDD materials which, in addition to the standard bulk powder measurements such as particle size and bulk density, may enable a better understanding of such materials, and their impact on downstream processability and dosage form performance.

This article originally appeared in International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 510, 2016, Pages 1-8.