Effect of process conditions on particle size and shape in continuous antisolvent crystallisation of lovastatin

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Lovastatin crystals often exhibit an undesirable needle-like morphology. Several studies have shown how a needle-like morphology can be modified in antisolvent crystallisation with the use of additives, but there is much less experimental work demonstrating crystal shape modification without the use of additives. In this study, a series of unseeded continuous antisolvent crystallisation experiments were conducted with the process conditions of supersaturation, total flow rate, and ultrasound level being varied to determine their effects on crystal size and shape. This experimental work involved identifying acetone/water as the most suitable solvent/antisolvent system, assessing lovastatin nucleation behaviour by means of induction time measurements, and then designing and implementing the continuous antisolvent crystallisation experiments. It was found that in order to produce the smallest and least needle-like particles, the maximum total flow rate and supersaturation had to be combined with the application of ultrasound. These results should aid development of pharmaceutical manufacturing processes where the ability to control particle size and shape would allow for optimisation of crystal isolation and more efficient downstream processing.
Original languageEnglish
Article number925
Number of pages17
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2020


  • antisolvent crystallization
  • particle size
  • particle shape
  • lovastatin
  • seed generation
  • ultrasound


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