A predictive integrated framework based on the radial basis function for the modelling of the flow of pharmaceutical powders

Maen Alshafiee, Wafa' H. AlAlaween, Daniel Markl, Mithushan Soundaranathan, Ammar Almajaan, Karl Walton, Liam Blunt, Kofi Asare-Addo

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This study presents a modelling framework to predict the flowability of various commonly used pharmaceutical powders and their blends. The flowability models were trained and validated on 86 samples including single components and binary mixtures. Two modelling paradigms based on artificial intelligence (AI) namely, a radial basis function (RBF) and an integrated network were employed to model the flowability represented by the flow function coefficient (FFC) and the bulk density (RHOB). Both approaches were utilized to map the input parameters (i.e. particle size, shape descriptors and material type) to the flow properties. The input parameters of the blends were determined from the particle size, shape and material type properties of the single components. The results clearly indicated that the integrated network outperformed the single RBF network in terms of the predictive performance and the generalization capabilities. For the integrated network, the coefficient of determination of the testing data set (not used for training the model) for FFC was R2=0.93, reflecting an acceptable predictive power of this model. Since the flowability of the blends can be predicted from single component size and shape descriptors, the integrated network can assist formulators in selecting excipients and their blend concentrations to improve flowability with minimal experimental effort and material resulting in the (i) minimization of the time required, (ii) exploration and examination of the design space, and (iii) minimization of material waste.

Original languageEnglish
Article number118542
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Early online date19 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2019


  • integrated network
  • pharmaceutical powder
  • powder flow
  • radial basis function
  • RBF

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