Process equipment used in the healthcare industry follow rigid specifications for accuracy, consistency and cleanliness. These regulations ensure that end products are safe, pure, and effective. In particular, mixing equipment employed in the production of pharmaceuticals and medical devices deal with a higher level of complexity because their use is more specialized. Not one design fits all.
Mixing fulfills many objectives beyond simple combination of raw ingredients. These include preparing fine emulsions, reducing particle size, carrying out chemical reactions, manipulating rheology, dissolving components, facilitating heat transfer, etc. So even within a single pharmaceutical product line, it is not uncommon to employ a number of different style mixers to process raw ingredients, handle intermediates and prepare the finished product.
Moreover, most pharmaceuticals are highly process-dependent. Next to the chemistry of the formulation itself, the mixing operation has a decided influence on whether a drug will deliver the accurate dosage, have an acceptable appearance and texture, or be stable for the appropriate length of time. The importance of proper mixer selection and optimal operation can hardly be over-estimated.
- Antacid Powder Blends - containing sodium bicarbonate, sodium carbonate, citric acid and flavors are blended in large capacity ROSS Ribbon Blenders.
- Bioadhesives - bioadhesive dosage forms, such as laminated polymer films, mucoadhesive tablets and patches, are continually being investigated for drug delivery. The ROSS VersaMix with SLIM System has successfully been tested for preparing mucoadhsive formulations containing hydroxyethyl cellulose, polycarbophil and sodium CMC. Other ROSS Multi-Shaft, High Shear and Planetary Mixers are utilized for making hydrocolloid medical adhesives.
- Bone Graft Pastes and Bone Cement- ROSS supplies Double Planetary Mixers to manufacturers of bone grafting products. One such company's previous mixing process took approximately 7 hours to complete a 1-quart batch. In a mixing trial at the ROSS Test & Development Center, this same product was made with a Double Planetary "HV" Blade Mixer in only 30 minutes. Another manufacturer's application is resorbable osteoconductive bone graft substitute (BGS) particulate composed of two bioactive glass materials for which the HV blades are also performing exceptionally well. The ROSS PowerMix is likewise used for mixing components of various bone cement formulations.
- Collagen Solutions - for neurosurgery, reconstructive surgery and soft tissue repair. One customer utilizes a stringy collagen fiber product that they are precipitating in an ammonium hydroxide precipitation reaction. The stringy collagen would wrap around any agitator shaft of conventional design. They visited our T&D Center to evaluate the Double Planetary mixer with HV Blades as a possible way of mixing and precipitating the collagen without having the fibrous material wrap around the Helical HV blades. The test was exceptionally successful. Other customers have long been using our Planetary Mixers for various collagen-based applications.
- Dental Composites - The ROSS PowerMix and Double Planetary Mixers are used industry-wide to mix a number of formulations found in dental impressions and prosthetic devices. A customer replaced their three roll mill, which gives slower throughput and requires pre-mixing, with a 40-gallon PowerMix designed for operation under full vacuum up to 29.5"Hg. Vacuum is applied when necessary to de-air the product prior to packaging.
- Dental Pastes, Gels and Solutions - Abrasive dental pastes are mixed in ROSS Planetary Mixers with hard chrome-plated or Kynar-coated wetted parts. One of the largest suppliers of professional dental products in the world uses ROSS SLIM Systems to transform powder concentrates into liquid form. The SLIM Systems efficiently introduce 25 different powders into a combination of 59 different chemicals. The resulting mixtures are sold as liquid disinfectants that find various uses in dentists' offices, from hand care to infection control to instrument sterilization. One of the powders being processed in the SLIM is benzocaine, an oral anesthetic also used to treat canker sores. This company also prepares their fluoride gels and pastes on ROSS Double Planetary Mixers.
- Tablet Granulations - Various types of ROSS Equipment are used by pharmaceutical companies in preparing wet granulations (where active solutions are sprayed to powder ingredients such as sorbitol, Cabosil fumed silica, corn starch, etc.) or in vacuum drying pharmaceuticals cake and pastes for transformation into free-flowing powders.
- Tablet Coatings - Cellulose powders and food coloring are efficiently blended into water through ROSS High Shear Mixers.
- Non-animal Gel Capsules - A major supplier of pharmaceutical and nutraceutical capsules have standardized on ROSS PowerMix and Discharge Systems for their non-animal gel capsules.
- Others: Components of blood reagents, transdermal patches, optical implants, eye drops, ointments, nanocomposites, drug vehicles, electrolyte solutions, vitamin supplements, gelatin compounds, fish oils, medial gels and putties.
- Recommended Mixing Equipment for Hydrogels
Hydrogels based on natural polymers are widely used in wound care, drug delivery, tissue implants, cosmetic, dental and many other applications.
- Recommended Mixing Equipment for Liquid Supplements
In the production of ready-to-drink supplements and liquid vitamins filled into capsules, proper mixing is one of the most critical steps in achieving lot-to-lot consistency and efficacy.
- Recommended Mixing Equipment for Tablet Coatings
Film coatings applied to tablets and capsules make them easier to swallow by imparting a smoother surface and masking unpleasant taste or odor.
- Recommended Mixing Equipment for Ophthalmic Preparations
Ophthalmic solutions, suspensions and emulsions are available in various forms such as eye drops, washes, ointments and injectable drugs.
- Double Planetary Mixing & Drying of Granulations for Vitamin & Mineral Supplements
Vitamin and mineral supplements in solid dosage forms undergo mixing, granulation and drying processes which have traditionally required multiple dedicated pieces of equipment.
- Recommended Mixing Equipment for Medical Adhesives
The growing demand for prescription and over-the-counter transdermal products encompasses a wide range of uses and conditions, from motion sickness and smoking cessation, to hormone replacements and pain management.
- Recommended Mixing Equipment for Pharmaceutical Gels
A majority of pharmaceutical gels are shear-thinning semi-solids prepared by dispersing hydrophilic polymers into an aqueous vehicle.
- Create smooth, speck-free pastes in your Three Roll Mill.
Across the process industries, Three Roll Mills are used to achieve a high quality dispersion in pastes, gels and other semi-solids. Suitable applications include medium to high viscosity materials that cannot be adequately dispersed in conventional high speed mixers..
- Reduce cycle time in your large capacity mixer.
This bulletin discusses a method of raw material handling and addition that simplifies large capacity mixing and can reduce cycle times by up to 80%..
- What to look for in a sanitary
Subtle differences in ribbon blender design and construction can significantly impact mixing performance and reliability. Especially in sanitary applications, certain blender features must not be overlooked in the specification process.
- Improve pharmaceutical
emulsification and homogenization with an ultra-high shear mixer.
Consider upgrading your emulsification process to an ultra-high shear mixer to obtain finer droplet sizes and handle higher viscosity emulsions
- Specifying a tumble blender for
Tumble blenders deliver highly accurate and repeatable mixing of powders, granules and even low-viscosity slurries.In addition, this style blender enables complete discharge and easy cleaning. This bulletin presents some design considerations for maximizing mixing efficiency in a tumble blender and selecting the most suitable features for a particular application.
- Fast and efficient discharge of viscous, sticky mixtures
Platen-style discharge systems used with change-can design mixers can significantly improve production speed, efficiency, cleanliness and plant safety..
- Preparing wet granulations in a planetary mixer
Planetary mixers are ideal for wet granulation processes. Advantages include "one-pot" processing, high uniformity and yield, predictable performance, and ease of cleaning.
- 5 ways a laboratory double
planetary mixer can save you money
The double planetary mixer is a highly versatile piece of process equipment. At the R&D level, it offers several advantages that can save time and money. This bulletin discusses 5 unique benefits of the double planetary mixer.
- Ribbon blenders are ideal for coating and mixing processes.
Solid-solid mixing sometimes involves powders that need to be uniformly coated with smaller particles of a different component. The ingredient that is coated onto the bulk material is typically a very small percentage of the batch, thus requiring thorough and uniform blending. Ribbon blenders are proven to be highly effective for these coating and mixing operations.
- Improve emulsion stability through ultra-high shear mixing.
The droplet size distribution of an emulsion largely dictates its stability. Fine droplet sizes are produced by applying sufficient shear, often through the use of conventional rotor/stator mixers. Today, ultra-high shear rotor/stator designs are available which can improve emulsion stability of certain formulations.
- Select a powder induction mixer that can serve multiple mix tanks of virtually any size.
An inline rotor/stator mixer equipped for powder induction offers flexibility, capability and portability to serve multiple mix vessels of virtually any size. Its straightforward operation and convenience further maximize equipment utility while simplifying material handling.
- Vertical blender/dryers deliver high drying rates with negligible risk of product attrition.
Vertical blender/dryers designed for vacuum operation offer a better alternative to non-agitated dryers such as ovens and tray dryers, delivering significantly higher drying rates per unit heating area. Vertical blender/dryers can also handle a variety of feed forms including slurries and pastes which other types of agitated dryers cannot accommodate. Finally, the gentle mixing action supplied by a vertical blender/dryer minimizes product attrition which is a concern in some applications.
- Double planetary mixers are ideal for low shear processing of viscous pharmaceutical materials.
Viscous products possessing shear-sensitive behavior, fragile components or abrasive properties require gentle but thorough mixing. In most cases, a double planetary mixer is the best choice for processing such applications.