Improved Tablet-Forming Process for Pharmaceutical Polymers

DisperSol Technologies asked the Capstone team PolyTab Solutions to design a process to form tablets from a batch of molten pharmaceutical polymer. These polymers have caused production issues due to their difficult formability in their molten state. As such, they could not be processed though estab-lished processes common to the pharmaceutical industry. It was vital that our process create tablets of a consistent mass, high yield, and at a high rate.

The team designed a 5-stage process to form the tablets. The molten polymer batch (with embedded medicine) is first dropped into a vertical cone roller where it is formed into a thick rope. It is then drawn down to a thinner rope by a series of sizing wheels which feed it into a sprocket to pinch the rope into tablet-sized pieces. These are fed into a simple mold where they get compressed into a tablet shape and are allowed to cool. The final step is to release the formed tablets via a shot of compressed air from the back side of the mold.

The success reached in this project allows DisperSol to move forward and scale the developed process to be usable in mass production of polymer-based tablets. These tablets provide a unique advantage in that they can deliver potentially effective drugs that cannot be embedded and dis-solved in powder-based tablets. Through months of research, prototyping, and testing, the team was able to confidently recommend a design solu-tion to a previously unsolved problem.

School Year (term): 
2015-2016
Sponsor: 
DisperSol Technologies
Team Name: 
PolyTab Solutions
Coach: 
Mark Davis
Team Members: 
Evan Bird, Brandon Black, Thomas Corie, Regan Homer, Rob Swasey, Jared Wagner

Brigham Young University - Provo | Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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