Susan Rios Revatta

Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Process Analytical Technology1.png

Ottergemsesteenweg 460
B-9000 Gent (Belgium) 
Tel.: +32-9-264.80.56
Fax: +32-9-222.82.36

Education: Chemical Engineer

Understanding spin-freezing of aqueous pharmaceutical formulations in the framework of continuous freeze-drying

Freeze-drying was first used by the Incas as a technique to preserve their potatoes, meats and food crops on the Andes mountains. Then, during World War II, freeze-drying was industrialized.

Traditionally, freeze-drying is a batch-wise process. Nowadays, pharmaceutical companies are switching from batch to continuous processes, based on all the advantages offered by continuous process, for instance flexibilization of production, reduction of overall costs, application of monitoring and control techniques in order to improve unit production and quality of the final product, etc. In this context, an innovative continuous freeze-drying concept for aqueous pharmaceutical unit doses is being developed by our research group.

Freeze-drying or lyophilization involves three sequential steps: freezing, primary drying or sublimation and secondary drying or desorption.

The aim of this research is to study and evaluate spin-freezing as the first step of an innovative continuous freeze-drying system. Furthermore, an evaluation of the effect of spin-freezing under different conditions is being studied upon ice crystal structure, including ice crystal size and shape distribution.

In the second part of my research, it is my aim to develop and validate a mechanistic model of the spin-freezing process based on physics equations. The objective is to use this model as a means of describing behavior of the process and, as a further step, of optimizing it.