Particle size is a critical parameter in the pharmaceutical industry and needs to be considered in several different aspects. Particles are present as powders, suspensions, or emulsions, and each state needs to be characterized and quality-controlled with high traceability and accuracy in order to avoid health risks.
On the one hand, particle size is a major concern in drug development affecting absorption rate and bioavailability of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API). In this regard, the dissolution rate and thus the bioavailability of powdered APIs is particularly important in formulations requiring a controlled or delayed release in the organism. Drug delivery systems such as liposomes in the nanometer range need to be controlled in the sense of size and stability in order to guarantee high drug efficiency or targeting of specific cell types.
But on the other hand, as for most other applications, particle size also affects the flow behavior of pharmaceutical products, influencing production, storage, transport, and packaging properties of the formulations.