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Surfactants are widely used in many industries as dispersants or flocculants for suspensions. As the addition of low concentrations of surfactant is sufficient to execute their effect, they barely alter the formulation composition. In this research it was examined whether surfactants, in particular polysorbate 80 (PS80), were suitable as suspension stabilizers for co-spray drying of drug-filler combinations. Therefore, their drying behaviour at different process and formulation settings was studied and mapped by means of fluorescently labelled PS80. Co-spray drying of 10% w/w aqueous suspensions stabilized with 0.1% w/w PS80 resulted in excessive loss of sticky powder in the conical lower part of the drying chamber and the powder conveyor ducts. Up to 16% of powder was lost in the first transporter (i.e. the first part of the conveyor ducts). The amount of powder deposited in the first transporter, and by extension the stickiness of the recovered powder, was correlated with the presence of PS80 on the surface of the spray dried particles. Redistribution of free surfactant molecules during droplet drying depended on the process and formulation parameters. Enrichment of PS80 at the particle surface was most pronounced after co-spray drying of liquid feedstocks with low suspended fraction at process conditions favouring rapid droplet drying. Copyright © 2023 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


E De Pauw, Y Chen, H De Keersmaecker, E De Coninck, L De Smet, B De Geest, K Braeckmans, C Vervaet, V Vanhoorne. Drying behaviour and visualization of surfactants after co-spray drying of surfactant-stabilized aqueous suspensions. International journal of pharmaceutics. 2023 Aug 25;643:123231

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PMID: 37488060

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