Tablets represent the preferred and most commonly dispensed pharmaceutical dosage form for administering
active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Minimizing the cost of goods and improving manufacturing output
efficiency has motivated companies to use direct compression as a preferred method of tablet manufacturing. Excipients
dictate the success of direct compression, notably by optimizing powder formulation compactability and
flow, thus there has been a surge in creating excipients specifically designed to meet these needs for direct compression.
Greater scientific understanding of tablet manufacturing coupled with effective application of the principles
of material science and particle engineering has resulted in a number of improved direct compression excipients.
Despite this, significant practical disadvantages of direct compression remain relative to granulation, and this
is partly due to the limitations of direct compression excipients. For instance, in formulating high-dose APIs, a
much higher level of excipient is required relative to wet or dry granulation and so tablets are much bigger. Creating excipients to enable
direct compression of high-dose APIs requires the knowledge of the relationship between fundamental material properties and excipient
functionalities. In this paper, we review the current understanding of the relationship between fundamental material properties and excipient
functionality for direct compression.
Keywords: Tableting, excipients, inter-particle interaction, flow, compactability, direct compression.
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