The effect of mesoporous silica impregnation on tribo-electrification characteristics of flurbiprofen

Mohammad Suhail Afzal, Faiza Zanin, Muhammad Usman Ghori, Marta Granollers, Enes Šupuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tribo-electrification is a common occurrence within the pharmaceutical industry where solid dosage forms constitute majority of pharmaceutical formulations. Tribo-electrification of powders leads to a range of complications such as adhesion of particulate material to the processing equipment resulting in segregation, affecting the content uniformity. Flurbiprofen, a highly charging material, was used as a model drug to investigate the tribo-electrification and adhesion characteristics by impregnating the model drug inside a mesoporous silica matrix. The model drug was impregnated using i) solvent loading, and ii) physical mixing methods, at varying degree of silica to drug ratio (5–20% w/w). The resulting mixtures were tribo-charged using a custom built device based on a shaking concept inside a stainless steel capsule, consisting of a Faraday cup and connected to electrometer. The electrostatic charge and the percentage adhesion of Flurbiprofen were reduced in both drug loading methods. The solvent impregnation method using acetone was more successful at reducing the electrostatic charge build up on flurbiprofen than physical powder mixing. The percentage adhesion to the shaking capsule was reduced notably as a result of loading the drug in the SBA-15 porous network. The results illustrate that the incorporation of highly charged model drug inside a low-charging pharmaceutical carrier system to be an effective approach in control the induction of tribo-electrification phenomena during powder processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-61
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number1
Early online date10 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2018


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