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Application of the Discrete Element Method for Manufacturing Process Simulation in the Pharmaceutical Industry

1
Department of Pharmaceutical Engineering, Inje University, Gyeongnam 621-749, Korea
2
College of Pharmacy, Pusan National University, Busandaehak-ro 63 beon-gil, Geumjeong-gu, Busan 46241, Korea
3
College of Pharmacy, Dongguk University, Goyang 410-820, Korea
4
College of Pharmacy, Yonsei University, 85 Songdogwahak-ro, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon 21983, Korea
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(8), 414; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11080414
Received: 8 July 2019 / Revised: 10 August 2019 / Accepted: 12 August 2019 / Published: 15 August 2019
PDF [4898 KB, uploaded 15 August 2019]
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Abstract

Process simulation using mathematical modeling tools is becoming more common in the pharmaceutical industry. A mechanistic model is a mathematical modeling tool that can enhance process understanding, reduce experimentation cost and improve product quality. A commonly used mechanistic modeling approach for powder is the discrete element method (DEM). Most pharmaceutical materials have powder or granular material. Therefore, DEM might be widely applied in the pharmaceutical industry. This review focused on the basic elements of DEM and its implementations in pharmaceutical manufacturing simulation. Contact models and input parameters are essential elements in DEM simulation. Contact models computed contact forces acting on the particle-particle and particle-geometry interactions. Input parameters were divided into two types—material properties and interaction parameters. Various calibration methods were presented to define the interaction parameters of pharmaceutical materials. Several applications of DEM simulation in pharmaceutical manufacturing processes, such as milling, blending, granulation and coating, were categorized and summarized. Based on this review, DEM simulation might provide a systematic process understanding and process control to ensure the quality of a drug product.
Keywords: discrete element method; manufacturing process simulation; contact model; input parameter; calibration method discrete element method; manufacturing process simulation; contact model; input parameter; calibration method
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Yeom, S.B.; Ha, E.-S.; Kim, M.-S.; Jeong, S.H.; Hwang, S.-J.; Choi, D.H. Application of the Discrete Element Method for Manufacturing Process Simulation in the Pharmaceutical Industry. Pharmaceutics 2019, 11, 414.

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