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1.  Properties of microcrystalline cellulose and powder cellulose after extrusion/spheronization as studied by fourier transform Raman spectroscopy and environmental scanning electron microscopy 
AAPS PharmSci  2003;5(4):77-89.
In this study, the effect of powder cellulose (PC) and 2 types of microcrystalline cellulose (MCC 101 and MCC 301) on pellet properties produced by an extrusion/spheronization process was investigated. The different investigated types of cellulose displayed different behavior during the extrusion/spheronization process. Pure PC was unsuitable for extrusion, because too much water was required and the added water was partly squeezed during the extrusion process. In contrast, MCC 101 and MCC 301 were extrudable at a wide range of water content, but the quality of the resulting products varied. In the extrusion/spheronization process, MCC 101 was the best substance, with easy handling and acceptable product properties. The properties of the extrudates and pellets were determined by Fourier transform (FT) Raman spectroscopy and environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM). FT-Raman spectroscopy was able to distinguish between the original substances and also between the wet and dried extrudates. The particle sizes of the raw material and of the extrudates were determined by ESEM without additional preparation. For MCC, the size of the resulting particles within the extrudate or pellet was smaller. However, in the extrudates of PC, changes in particle size could not be observed.
PMCID: PMC2750993  PMID: 15198519
powder cellulose; microcrystalline cellulose; pellet; Raman spectroscopy; environmental scanning electron microscopy; extrusion/spheronization
2.  Direct pelletization in a rotary processor controlled by torque measurements. II: Effects of changes in the content of microcrystalline cellulose 
AAPS PharmSci  2000;2(3):45-52.
In the present study we investigated the effect of changes in the content of microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) on a direct pelletization process in a rotary processor in which the liquid addition was terminated once a certain increase in torque was produced. Nine different mixtures of MCC and lactose with MCC contents varying from 10% to 100% (w/w) were pelletized using 6 different torque increase levels, and the changes in pellet characteristics were investigated. The pellet characteristics investigated were pellet shape, size, and size distribution as well as the water content of the pellets at the end of liquid addition. To produce spherical agglomerates with suitable characteristics in a reproducible way, a content of a least 20% (w/w) MCC was found necessary. Linear correlations were found between the MCC content and the water content and between the torque incraase and the water content, showing that the torque increase is suitable to control the process. A higher torque increase or a higher MCC content was found to increase the water content independently of each other.
PMCID: PMC2761135  PMID: 11741240
3.  Influence of degree of polymerization on behavior of cellulose during homogenization and extrusion/spheronization 
AAPS PharmSci  2000;2(3):18-27.
The study objective was to investigate the influence of the degree of polymerization (DP) of cellulose materials (microcrystalline cellulose [MCC] and powder cellulose [PC]) on the behavior of these materials during homogenization and extrusion/spheronization processes. Suspensions of the cellulose types with different DP values were homogenized using a high-pressure homogenizer. The particle size, agglomeration index, and apparent viscosity of these suspensions was determined at different times after pouring. Additionally, these different cellulose types were processed into pellets using the extrusion/spheronization, method, and the water content and power consumption as a function of the DP were determined. Cellulose types with a high DP value showed greater particle size after homogenization, than the types with a low DP value. In contrast, no relevant relationship between the apparent viscosity and DP could be observed. During the extrusion process, water content in the extrudate and pellet porosity were increased as the DP was increased for the extrudates produced at the same level of power consumption. MCC types with various DPs compared with PC provided a novel way of understanding the role of cellulose in the extrusion process. The DP showed a remarkable influence on the physicochemical properties of the cellulose materials and, consequently, on the behavior of these materials during the extrusion/spheronization process. It is postulated that the sponge model is more appropriate for the cellulose type with high DP (PC), whereas the gel model is more applicable to cellulose types with lower DP (MCC).
PMCID: PMC2761132  PMID: 11741237

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