How to measure and analyse the texture of food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and adhesives.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Texture Analysis in Action: the Tablet Disintegration Rig

Tablet Disintegration Rig test using the TA.XTplus Texture Analyser The TABLET DISINTEGRATION RIG* (A/TDR)

A thorough analysis of disintegration behaviour is vital for the formulation of new fast-melt tablets (FMTs) to ensure reliable and consistent drug release.

The tablet or wafer has to be resilient enough to endure manufacturing and shipping, yet release sufficient disintegrants to deliver an optimum dissolution rate. The Tablet Disintegration Rig facilitates reliable assessment of the mechanical properties of FMTs.

The rig closely replicates the in vivo conditions of the human mouth, enabling manufacturers to examine water absorption and the disintegration of associated particles.

The unique geometry of the rig allows the disintegration medium to access the tablet from all areas. The rig is supplied with five probe heads to enable multiple sample preparation in advance of testing and fast interchange.

Assessment of disintegration profile of a fast-melt tablet
Assessment of disintegration profile
of a fast-melt tablet
Some more information on this fixture

Certain tablets must be strong enough to survive manufacturing and shipping, and yet friable enough to instantly release their pharmaceutical ingredients once they are placed in the mouth or ingested. Traditional disintegration tests do not always distinguish among tablets which release their active ingredients very quickly, and may not always reflect the real in vivo disintegration of tablets.

A tablet is attached to the underside of the probe and the Texture Analyser is programmed to apply a moderate force for up to e.g. 60 seconds, and to then measure the distance as the tablet is compressed while submerged in a fixed quantity of liquid in the vessel. The probe distance is unchanging as the tablets remain cohesive. However, once the tablets disintegrate the compression distances increase dramatically.

The graph below shows plots of individual tablets with different formulae and made by different processes, showing different physical disintegration rates. 

Different formulae/processes produce tablets with different disintegration rates
Different formulae/processes produce tablets
with different disintegration rates
Besides different tablet formulations, the alteration of physiologically relevant media composition which attempt to mimic the in vivo conditions of e.g. the gastrointestinal tract and which would affect factors such as surface tension and viscosity, would be expected to influence tablet disintegration.

Among the measurements which can be obtained from such graphs are e.g. time when the disintegration started, how rapidly it disintegrated, time to fully disintegrate, etc. 

We can design and manufacture probes or fixtures for the TA.XTplus texture analyser that are bespoke to your sample and its specific measurement.

Once your measurement is performed, our expertise in its graphical interpretation is unparalleled. Not only can we develop the most suitable and accurate method for the testing of your sample, but we can also prepare analysis procedures that obtain the desired parameters from your curve and drop them into a spreadsheet or report designed around your requirements.

For more information on how to measure texture, please visit the Texture Analysis Properties section on our website.

TA.XTplus texture analyser with bloom jar The
TA.XTplus texture analyser is part of a family of texture analysis instruments and equipment from Stable Micro Systems. An extensive portfolio of specialist attachments is available to measure and analyse the textural properties of a huge range of food products. Our technical experts can also custom design instrument fixtures according to individual specifications.

No-one understands texture analysis like we do!

To discuss your specific test requirements click here...

Watch our video about testing of materials
 The Role of Texture Analysis in Pharmaceuticals

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