Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of aapspharmspringer.comThis journalToc AlertsSubmit OnlineOpen Choice
AAPS PharmSciTech. 2003 December; 4(4): 489–499.
Published online 2003 October 9. doi:  10.1208/pt040462
PMCID: PMC2750655

Physical properties and compact analysis of commonly used direct compression binders


This study investigated the basic physico-chemical property and binding functionality of commonly used commercial direct compression binders/fillers. The compressibility of these materials was also analyzed using compression parameters derived from the Heckel, Kawakita, and Cooper-Eaton equations. Five classes of excipients were evaluated, including microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), starch, lactose, dicalcium phosphate (DCP), and sugar. In general, the starch category exhibited the highest moisture content followed by MCC, DCP, lactose, and finally sugars; DCP displayed the highest density, followed by sugar, lactose, starch, and MCC; the material particle size is highly processing dependent. The data also demonstrated that MCC had moderate flowability, excellent compressibility, and extremely good compact hardness; with some exceptions, starch, lactose, and sugar generally exhibited moderate flowability, compressibility, and hardness; DCP had excellent flowability, but poor compressibility and hardness. This research additionally confirmed the binding mechanism that had been well documented: MCC performs as binder because of its plastic deformation under pressure; fragmentation is the predominant mechanism in the case of lactose and DCP; starch and sugar perform by both mechanism.

Keywords: direct compression, binder, tensile strength, Heckel analysis, Kawakita analysis, Cooper-Eaton analysis

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (608K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
1. Bolhuis GK. Materials for direct compaction. In: Alderborn G, Nyström C, editors. Pharmaceutical Powder Compaction Technology. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker Inc; 1996. pp. 419–478.
2. Wade A, Weller PJ. Handbook of Pharmaceutical Excipients. 2nd ed. Washington, DC: American Pharmaceutical Association; 1994.
3. Rudnic EM, Kottke MK. Tablet dosage forms. In: Banker GS, Rhodes CT, editors. Modern Pharmaceutics. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker Inc; 1996. pp. 333–391.
5. Parrott EL. Compression. In: Lieberman HA, Lachman L, Schwartz JB, editors. Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms: Tablets. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker Inc; 1990. pp. 153–182.
6. Paronen P, Iilla J. Porosity-pressure functions. In: Alderborn G, Nyström C, editors. Pharmaceutical Powder Compaction Technology. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker Inc; 1996. pp. 55–75.
7. Habib Y, Ausburger L, Reier G, Wheatley T, Shangraw R. Dilution potential: a new perspective. Pharm Dev Technol. 1996;1(2):205–212. doi: 10.3109/10837459609029895. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
8. Fell JT, Newton JM. The tensile strength of lactose tablets. J Pharm Pharmacol. 1968;20(8):657–758. [PubMed]
9. Heckel RW. An analysis of powder compaction phenomena. Trans AIME. 1996;221:1001–1008.
10. Nicklasson F, Alderborn G. Analysis of the compression mechanics of pharmaceutical agglomerates of different porosity and composition using the Adams and Kawakita equations. Pharm Res. 2000;17(8):949–954. doi: 10.1023/A:1007575120817. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
11. Lavoie F, Cartilier L, Thibert R. New methods characterizing avalanche behavior to determine powder flow. Pharm Res. 2002;19(6):887–893. doi: 10.1023/A:1016125420577. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
12. Lee YSL, Poynter R, Podczeck F, Newton JM. Development of a dual approach to assess powder flow from avalanching behavior.AAPS Pharm SciTech. 2000;1(3): Article 21. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
13. Tsai T, Wu JS, Ho HO, Sheu MT. Modification of physical characteristics of microcrystalline cellulose by codrying with β-cyclodextrins. J Pharm Sci. 1998;87(1):117–122. doi: 10.1021/js960486a. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
14. Taylor MK, Ginsburg J, Hickey AJ, Gheyas F. Composite method to quantify powder flow as a screening method in early tablet or capsule formulation development.AAPS PharmSciTech. 2000, 1(3): Article 18. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
15. van der Voort Maarschalk K, Bolhuis GK. Improving properties of materials for direct compression. Pharm Technol Europe. 1998;10(9):30–35.
16. van der Voort Maarschalk K, Bolhuis GK. Improving properties of materials for direct compression. Pharm Technol Europe. 1998;10(10):28–36.
17. Cole ET, Rees JE, Hersey JA. Relations between compaction data for some crystalline pharmaceutical materials. Pharm Acta Helv. 1975;50(1–2):28–32. [PubMed]
18. Roberts RJ, Rowe RC. The young's modulus of pharmaceutical materials. Int J Pharm. 1987;37:15–18. doi: 10.1016/0378-5173(87)90004-4. [Cross Ref]
19. Olsson H, Nyström C. Assessing tablet bond types from structural features that affect tablet tensile strength. Pharm Res. 2001;18(2):203–210. doi: 10.1023/A:1011036603006. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]

Articles from AAPS PharmSciTech are provided here courtesy of American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists