The MOMEnTUM Spoke project is centred along diagnostic themes in specific areas of process modelling to enable control and automation within “substance” processing. The manufacture of pharmaceutics, biopharmaceutics, and chemical products is complex and costly.
Powder/Particle modelling for process design
The project identified opportunities to minimize manufacturing cycle time and develop cost effective, optimized processes for the manufacture of chemical and biological powder/granule substances. The project also identified opportunities to investigate alternative unit operations with continuous manufacturing processes to replace batch and subsequent agglomeration/breakage processes for bulk chemical and biologics to increase plant manufacturing capacity.
Multiphase CFD for process design
The project also addressed underlying challenges relating to processing of raw materials, polymers and biopharmaceutical materials, which are commonly processed as fluids in Irish manufacturing operations. Specific sector agnostic mathematical modelling of MOMEnTUM transfer and separation process engineering research topics concentrated on computational fluid mechanics to enable hybrid processes and process intensification, which can be applied across manufacturing.
Achieving high efficiency and increased plant manufacturing capacity at low cost, demands innovative engineering design and scale-up approaches for chemical and biologic substance processing.
The SFI funded SPOKES project MOMEnTUM brought together researchers from SSPC and the SFI funded MACSI – Mathematics Application Consortium at the University of Limerick to build on the knowledge and research expertise in process modelling and powder processing which underpins all manufacturing sectors nationally and internationally. The mathematical modelling expertise provided by MACSI complements the pharmaceutical process engineering skillset of SSPC. Researchers from both centres worked closely together on this project fostering knowledge sharing between the two disciplines. Researchers on the project benefited greatly from being involved in a whole solution approach to the research challenge, which in turn increased their understanding of the impact of their research and further developed their skillset for future projects.
Dr Kevin Moroney, an original PhD and postdoctoral researcher on this project, now an SSPC investigator and lecturer at the University of Limerick, wrote this piece in 2019 on Modelling in the pharmaceutical industry:
The pharmaceutical industry like many others is undergoing a technological revolution as we enter the much vaunted era of Industry 4.0. This is of particular strategic importance to Ireland, home to all of the world’s top 10 pharmaceutical companies and one of the largest exporters of pharmaceutical products in the world. One key area that this is manifesting itself is in the introduction of continuous manufacturing lines for drug products, such as tablets, instead of traditional batch processes. This transition poses a number of technical challenges in terms of process understanding, modelling and control as well as regulatory challenges. Unsurprisingly, the pharmaceutical industry is highly regulated to ensure safe and consistent products. Replacing tried and trusted processes with new ones requires modernisation of regulations and proof that previous standards can be matched or improved upon. Researchers from MACSI in the University of Limerick have been working on some of these issues with collaborators from SSPC and industry partners in a project called MOMEnTUM (Modelling of Multi-Phase Transport Processes to Enable Automation in Manufacturing). Source and full paper at European Consortium For Mathematics In Industry
A Ziaee, AB Albadarin, L Padrela, T Femmer, E O’Reilly, G Walker, Spray drying of pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals: Critical parameters and experimental process optimization approaches, (2019), Eu. J. Pharm. Sci., 127, pp. 300-318.
Ahmad Ziaee, Ahmad B. Albadarin, Luis Padrela, Alexandra Faucher, Emmet O’Reilly, Gavin Walker, Spray drying ternary amorphous solid dispersions of ibuprofen – An investigation into critical formulation and processing parameters, European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Volume 120, 2017, Pages 43-51, ISSN 0939-6411, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpb.2017.08.005.
Castro-Dominguez, B., Moroney, K., Schaller, B., O’Connor, S., Cloonan, A., Vo, T.T.N., Walker, G., O’Reilly, E.J., Electrospun API-loaded mixed matrix membranes for controlled release, (2017) RSC Advances 7, 43300–43309. doi:10.1039/c7ra08600h
Schaller, B.E., Moroney K.M., Castro-Dominguez, B., Cronin, P., Belen-Girona, J., Ruane, P., Croker, D.M., Walker, G.M., 2019. Systematic development of a high dosage formulation to enable direct compression of a poorly flowing API., (2019), Inter. J. Pharm Jul 20;566:615-630.
Crawford, D.E., Miskimmin, C.K.G., Albadarin, A.B., Walker, G., James, S.L., Organic synthesis by Twin Screw Extrusion (TSE): Continuous, scalable and solvent-free (2017) Green Chem., 19 (6), pp. 1507-1518.
Davis, M.T., Egan DP, Kuhs M, Albadarin AB, Griffin CS, Collins JA, Walker, G., Amorphous solid dispersions of BCS class II drugs: A rational approach to solvent and polymer selection (2016) Che. Eng. Res. & Design, 110, pp. 192-199.
Davis, M.T., Potter CB, Mohammadpour M, Albadarin AB, Walker GM. et al., Design of spray dried ternary solid dispersions comprising itraconazole, soluplus and HPMCP (2017) Inter. J. Pharm., 519 (1-2), pp. 365-372.
Douglas, P., Kuhs M, Sajjia M, Khraisheh M, Walker G, Collins MN, et al., Bioactive PCL matrices with a range of structural and; rheological properties (2016) Reactive & Func. Polymers, 101, pp. 54-62.
Douglas, P., Albadarin AB, Sajjia M, Mangwandi C, Kuhs M, Collins MN, Albadarin AB, Effect of poly ethylene glycol on the mechanical and thermal properties of bioactive poly(ε- caprolactone) melt extrudates for pharmaceutical applications (2016) Inter. J. Pharm., 500 (1- 2), pp. 179-186.
Kuhs M, Moore J, Kollamaram G, Walker G, Croker D., Predicting optimal wet granulation parameters for extrusion-spheronisation of pharmaceutical pellets, (2017) Inter. J. Pharm., 517 (1-2), pp. 19-24.
Pishnamazi M., Casilagan, S., Clancy, C., Shirazian, S., Iqbal, J., Egan, D., Edlin, C., Croker, D.M., Walker, G.M., and Collins, M.N. Microcrystalline Cellulose, Lactose and Lignin Blends: Process Mapping of Dry Granulation via Roll Compaction, Powder Technology (2019), Volume 341, 38-50.
Pishnamazi, M., Iqbal, J., Shirazian, S., Walker, G.M., and Collins, M.N. Effect of lignin as natural polymer on the release rate of acetylsalicylic acid tablets, International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, (2019) 124, 345-359.
Pishnamazi, Mahboubeh & Ismail, Hamza & Shirazian, Saeed & Iqbal, Javed & Walker, Gavin & Collins, Maurice. (2019). Application of lignin in controlled release: development of predictive model based on artificial neural network for API release. Cellulose. 26. 10.1007/s10570-019-02522-w.
Pishnamazi, M., Hafizi, H., Shirazian, S., Walker, G.M., and Collins, M.M. Design of controlled- release system for paracetamol based on modified lignin, Polymers (Basel). 2019 Jun 18;11(6):1059.
Sajjia, M., Albadarin, A.B., Walker, G., Statistical analysis of industrial-scale roller compactor ‘Freund TF-MINI model’, (2016) Inter. J. Pharm., 513 (1-2), pp. 453-463.
Sajjia, M., Albadarin, A.B., Walker, G. et al. Mechanistic modelling of industrial-scale roller compactor ‘Freund TF-MINI model’ (2017) Computers & Chem. Eng., 104, pp. 141-150
Sajjia, M., Albadarin, A.B., Walker, G. et al. ANN Analysis of a Roller Compaction Process in the Pharmaceutical Industry (2017) Chem. Eng. & Tech., 40 (3), pp. 487-492.
Shirazian, S., Albadarin, A.B., Walker, G. et al. Artificial neural network modelling of continuous wet granulation using a twin-screw extruder (2017) Inter. J. Pharm., 521 (1-2), pp. 102-109.
Mukherjee, S., Berghout, P., & Van den Akker, H.E.A. (2019). A lattice Boltzmann approach to surfactant‐laden emulsions. AIChE Journal, 65(2), 811-828.
Berghout, P., & Van den Akker, H.E.A. (2019). Simulating drop formation at an aperture by means of a Multi-Component Pseudo-Potential Lattice Boltzmann model. Int. Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow, 75, 153-164.
Van den Akker, H.E.A. (2018). Lattice Boltzmann simulations for multi-scale chemical engineering. Current Opinion In Chemical Engineering, 21, 67-75.
Mukherjee, S., Safdari, A., Shardt, O., Kenjeres, S., Van den Akker, H.E.A. (2020). Droplet-turbulence interactions and quasi-equilibrium dynamics in turbulent emulsions. J. Fluid Mechanics, 878, 221-276
Srinivasan, S., Van den Akker, H.E.A., Shardt, O. (2020). Shear thickening and history-dependent rheology of monodisperse suspensions with finite inertia via an immersed boundary lattice Boltzmann method. Int. J. Multiphase Flow, 125, 103205
Srinivasan, S., Van den Akker, H.E.A., Shardt, O. (2021). Numerical simulations of dense granular suspensions in laminar flow under constant and varying shear rates. Computers & Fluids, 230
Srinivasan, S., Van den Akker, H.E.A., Shardt, O. (2022). Inclusion of DLVO forces in simulations of non-Brownian solids suspensions: rheology and structure. Int. J. Multiphase Flow, 149.