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Soft Materials: Molecular Tales of Granularity

Soft Materials: Molecular Tales of Granularity

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By


Advancements in the understanding of granular materials are important in fields ranging from civil engineering to pharmaceutical manufacturing. Paul Chalkin discovered in his lab that candy-coated chocolates are excellent examples of oblate spheroids, a key shape in the geometry of random packings and the statistical description of granular systems. Join an interactive discussion with academic and industry experts about the explorations of the exciting properties of granular media including candy and colloids.

The Soft Materials Discussion Group works to regularly convene investigators in the New York region with an interest in soft materials research and development and provide a forum for ideas and advances between scientists, engineers, and other key stakeholders working in academia, industry, and not-for-profit entities. To ensure impact globally, the meeting proceedings will be disseminated electronically. The interdisciplinary topics include a range of technology important materials in colloids, polymers, emulsions, liquid and organic crystals, membranes, proteins, cells, and tissue.



5:00 PM - 5:40 PM
The Problems With Using Granular Materials as Drug-Delivery Systems, and How We Can Do Better in the Future
Bruno Hancock, Pfizer Inc.

5:40 PM - 6:25 PM
Shaken, Not Stirred: Granular Equilibrium
Mark Shattuck, City College

6:25 PM - 7:00 PM
Experimental Geometry: Experiments with Candies and Colloids
Paul Chaikin, New York University

Moderator: David Reichman, Columbia University


The Problems With Using Granular Materials as Drug-Delivery Systems, and How We Can Do Better in the Future
Bruno C. Hancock, Pfizer Inc.

Granular systems are utilized widely in the manufacture of prescription medicines and over-the-counter pharmaceutical products. They are used because their physical and chemical properties can be customized through the use of carefully controlled blending, agglomeration, and milling processes. These so-called "granulation processes" facilitate the production of bulk intermediates with a highly uniform content of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and with the necessary bulk properties (such as particle size, particle shape and bulk density) to ensure facile sub-division into many millions of identical dosage forms (tablets and capsules). They also guarantee that the product has sufficient chemical stability and physical strength to survive the thermal, mechanical and humidity stresses encountered during manufacture, packaging, distribution, storage, and use. The design of a commercial manufacturing process that meet all of these requirements requires the careful characterization of the API, and the development of in depth understanding of how its properties impact the ultimate performance of the drug product. This is the basis for many ongoing "quality-by-design" initiatives in the pharmaceutical industry that are intended to increase the efficiency of manufacturing processes and reduce the likelihood of product recalls. In this presentation the author will introduce the use of granular materials as intermediates used to manufacture modern pharmaceutical products, and will provide examples of how the physical sciences are used to aid in the development of their manufacturing processes. He will compare the use of experimental approaches and computer simulations, and, will provide insights into the future direction of research in this field.

Shaken, Not Stirred: Granular Equilibrium
Mark Shattuck, City College

Equilibrium statistical mechanics is generally not applicable to systems with energy input and dissipation present, and identifying relevant tools for understanding these far-from-equilibrium systems poses a serious challenge. Excited granular materials or granular fluid