Israel B. Sebastião, Bakul Bhatnagar, Serguei Tchessalov, Satoshi Ohtake, Matthias Plitzko, Bernhard Luy, Alina Alexeenko
Spray freeze-drying is an evolving technology that combines the benefits of spray-drying and conventional lyophilization techniques to produce drug substance and drug product as free-flowing powders. The high surface-to-volume ratio associated to the submillimeter spray-frozen particles contributes to shorter drying and reconstitution times. The formation of frozen particles is the most critical part of this dehydration technique because it defines the properties of final product. Based on a previously proposed and validated model, the current goal is to understand the role of various controllable parameters in the spray-freezing process. More specifically, given a set of spraying conditions, the model is used to predict the minimum distance required to cool and freeze the droplets below a temperature that prevents coalescence and product agglomeration. A parametric study is carried out to map the operational limit conditions of the actual spray-freezing column apparatus under consideration. For the spray freeze-drying conditions of interest, model simulations indicate that convection contributes to at least 80% of the total droplet heat transfer and, consequently, that freezing column gas temperature and droplet diameter are the most important process parameters affecting the freezing distance.
spray freeze-drying, sucrose, quality by design (QBD), lyophilization, freeze-drying, mathematical model(s)