eMicro – Microencapsulation of active principles
eMicro is a software for the simulation of the microencapsulation process of active principles.
A polymer is dissolved in a solvent by increasing the temperature of the solution inside a stirred tank reactor. A programmed curve allows increasing the solubility of the polymer in the solution up to an optimal value. Afterwards the temperature of the solution is decreased according to a programmed dynamics. The polymer precipitates and deposits on the granules of active principle that are suspended thanks to the rotating blades of the impeller. By regulating the polymer-solvent-active principle recipe, the programmed-temperature curve, the impeller speed, and the design geometry of the vessel it is possible to obtain a uniform coating of the drug particles. The obtained pharmaceutical product has the characterizing property of being released in the human body according to a continuous and prolonged period that extends its activity on longer times. The active principle gets dissolved in the human body by diffusing through the permeable polymer coating. A suitable polymer thickness allows the bolus to pass through the stomach with reduced dissolution and release the significant portion of the drug in the intestine.
eMicro allows defining through a very usable interface all the input data for either laboratory small-scale vials or industrial full-scale reactors. A dedicated equation of state based on Kamide’s theory describes the equilibrium properties of the polymer-solvent mixture. The output results report the dynamics of the coating thickness as a function of the granulometric distribution of the active principle together with the temperature profiles of both the reactor and jacket fluids.
eMicro allows designing optimal programmed-temperature curves, identify optimal reactor geometries to increase the suspension of the particles of active principle while avoiding the formation of tails in the coated product (in case of an excessive stirring action). The understanding of the microencapsulation process is greatly enhanced by the dynamic simulation and the quantitative evaluation of the process variables obtainable with eMicro.
Further information on the Research activity developed in the field of pharmaceutical processes can be found here.
The companion software of eMicro is eRelease.