Alina’s PhD project is an EPSRC iCASE funded project, in collaboration with AstraZeneca (Macclesfield UK & Gothenburg Sweden).
Her project is looking to advance the understanding and influence particle surface properties have on material processing, which to date still remains a largely unknown area in pharmaceutical development. A number of tools (inverse gas chromatography (IGC), contact angle, etc.) have been used to characterise pharmaceutical powders but there is only limited information about how surface energy affects processing. Currently, most characterisation is dominated by particle size measurement and bulk properties with little appreciation for surface properties.
In her project, experimental methodologies to determine the surface energy heterogeneity of a series of novel model powders exhibiting different surface chemistries were established. The aim of this PhD project is to describe and understand how powder surfaces influence routine process unit operations employed in the pharmaceutical industry for product development and manufacturing. The work proposed here provides a first step towards understanding when, and by how much, surface properties affect basic bulk powder behaviour such as flow and blending in the pharmaceutical industry.