The ubiquity of the tabletability flip phenomenon

Zijian Wang, Chenguang Wang, Deepak Bahl, Changquan Calvin Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The plasticity of materials plays a critical role in adequate powder tabletability, which is required in developing a successful tablet product. Generally, a more plastic material can develop larger bonding areas when other factors are the same, leading to higher tabletability than less plastic materials. However, it was observed that, for a solid form of a compound with poorer tabletability, a mixture with microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) can actually exhibit better tabletability, a phenomenon termed tabletability flip. Hence, there is a chance that a solid form with poor tabletability could have been erroneously eliminated based on the expected tabletability challenges during tablet manufacturing. This study was conducted to investigate the generality of this phenomenon using two polymorph pairs, a salt and free acid pair, a crystalline and amorphous solid dispersion pair, and a pair of chemically distinct crystals. Results show that tabletability flip occurred in all six systems tested, including five pairs of binary mixtures with MCC and one pair in a realistic generic tablet formulation, suggesting the broad occurrence of the tabletability flip phenomenon, where both compaction pressure and the difference in plasticity between the pair of materials play important roles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number123262
JournalInternational journal of pharmaceutics
StatePublished - Aug 25 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb. CCS thanks the National Science Foundation for support through the Industry University Collaborative Research Center grant IIP-2137264, Center for Integrated Materials Science and Engineering for Pharmaceutical Products (CIMSEPP).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.


  • Bonding area
  • Generality
  • Mixture
  • Plasticity
  • Tabletability flip

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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