Ronald Danner

Study of Pharmaceutical Spray Drying Systems 

Many drugs exhibit low aqueous solubility and thus tend to pass through the patient with low efficacy.  To overcome this, the drug can be attached to a water soluble polymer which allows it to be released slowly but without reducing its effectiveness.  Two polymers widely used for this purpose are hydroxypropyl methylcellulose acetate succinate (HPMCAS) and Kollidon VA 64, a copolymer of N-vinylpyrrolidone and vinyl acetate.  In many cases, the drug-polymer matrix is prepared by dissolving the two components in a solvent and then spray drying the mixture. 

This project involves evaluating the properties of the drug-polymer-solvents systems that will enhance the design of the spray dryers.  This includes the phase equilibria between the polymers and solvents, the diffusivity of the solvents in the polymer, and the characterization of the drying process of a drop.  The experimental methods used are gravimetric sorption and pressure decay to measure the solubilities and diffusivities and visualization of a drop to determine its drying rate and final configuration.  In addition to the experimental methods, students involved in this project will learn about models used for phase equilibrium and diffusion.

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Contact Information

Manish Kumar, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering
REU Program Coordinator
mxk64@psu.edu
814-865-7519

Esther Gomez, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering
REU Program Coordinator
ewg10@psu.edu
814-867-4732

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The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-2574