Quality Control and Failure Analysis of Tablet Coating

In this joint project with MIT and Novartis, it was hypothesized that the understanding of a tablet microstructure is pivotal in bridging our knowledge about the materials, manufacturing process, and tablet properties. A series of MicroCT characterization methods were developed to untangle material interactions during tablet manufacturing process, leading to an interpretation of tablet compaction mechanisms through 3D representation of microstructural features.  The coating thickness distribution was calculated from images, providing comparison to the design thickness, as well as an evaluation of the coating impact on release performance. Numerical simulation of liquid intrusion based on the MicroCT data was utilized in calculating tablet microstructure permeability, introducing a novel parameter for characterization of tablet dissolution properties. 

This work provides a strategy for an integrated formulation design and characterization system incorporating microstructural analysis. It enables an approach in which microstructures become a critical target for design and optimization.

For more information, request a copy of the Ph.D. Thesis



Digital Tablet | 4 Micron Resolution


3D Reconstruction from MicroCT images (left), Visualization of Coating Thickness Distribution (center) and Microporosity Distribution (right)