Researcher: Dr Vincenzino Vivacqua, Alejandro Lopez
Principal Investigator: Prof. Mojtaba Ghadiri
Co-Investigator(s): Prof. Kevin Roberts, Dr. Robert  Hammond.
Collaborators: PSE, Britest, University of Cambridge, Perceptive Engineering, Hartree Centre, AstraZeneca, BMS, GSK, Pfizer, CCDC, CMAC
Status: Ongoing (2016 – )

Dr. Vincenzino Vivacqua

Alejandro Lopez


The flow of pharmaceutical powders (API, excipients, blended mixtures and granulated formulations) is important in terms of ensuring the effective transfer of powders between unit operations without the loss of critical quality attributes (CQAs) such as the content uniformity of the powder. This is determined by a number of factors, including particle size, shape, surface properties and the nature of their interactions with the processing environment through inhomogeneous particle/particle and particle/surface binding behaviour. Such behaviour can be mitigated through control at the molecular level by engineering the crystal’s morphological and surface structures to generate specific particle shapes with a population of active surfaces that depend on the relative surface energies of the crystal and through this produce powders which are easy-flowing by design. The output of these models are used in discrete element model (DEM) simulations of powders to determine their flowability ab initio without need for manufacturing of significant quantities of experimental product, thereby allowing screening of crystal structure designs from a process perspective.