Laurens Leys

Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Process Analytical TechnologyLaurens Leys

Ottergemsesteenweg 460
B-9000 Gent (Belgium) 
Tel.: +32-9-264.80.68
Fax: +32-9-222.82.36
E-mail: laurens.leysEducation: Pharmacist (Master in Drug Development)

Desorption kinetics in pharmaceutical freeze-drying processes

Since freeze-drying was first introduced during World War II as a technique to conserve antibiotics and blood products, much improvement has been made in the field. Recently, a new innovative continuous freeze-drying system was developed by our group to more efficiently dry pharmaceutical formulations.

Freeze-drying consists of three consecutive stages which are freezing, primary drying and secondary drying. In the first phase the product is frozen after which crystalline water is removed in the primary drying stage. Hereafter, low residual levels of bound water are still present in the product and must be removed by desorption in the secondary drying phase.

Nowadays, efforts have been made to mathematically model the consecutive stages in both batch and continuous freeze-drying processes. However, efficient modelling of the secondary drying phase of the process remains a bottleneck in the field.

The aim of this project is study the desorption kinetics of pharmaceutical formulations in order to develop a useful mathematical model for the secondary drying stage in both batch and continuous freeze-drying processes.