Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Biomedical Engineering


Dr. Lauren Briens


Passive acoustic emissions were assessed for their potential as a non-invasive monitoring tool for the coating of pellets in a fluidized bed. Pharmaceutical pellets are small spherical particles that contain an active ingredient. They are film coated for the purpose of modified drug release and packed into capsules as a multiple unit dosage form. A more reliable monitoring and control method is desired to ensure the appropriate drug release profile is achieved by minimizing variations within and between coated pellets.

Microphones attached to the exterior of a conical top spray fluidized bed measured acoustic emissions produced from the coating process. Statistical analysis of the signals was shown to provide information on fluidization quality and nozzle performance, while the amplitude of the acoustic emissions was shown to correspond to an increase in pellet film coat thickness. Overall, passive acoustic emissions reflected changes in process dynamics and particle interactions, indicating the ability to monitor fluidized bed pellet coating and potentially for the determination of a desired coating end-point.

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