Wurster Fluid Bed Coating: Importance of Processing and Formulation for Success in Oral Pharmaceutical Delivery

Life Sciences, Pharmaceutical, Pharma Manufacturing & Supply Chain, Drug Discovery & Development,
  • Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The Wurster (bottom spray) fluid bed coating process was invented by Dr. Dale E. Wurster at the University of Wisconsin in the 1950s and 1960s. This revolutionary process enabled precise film coat application on solid particles such as powders, granules, crystals, beads, and the like. The combined ability to formulate coatings for functional needs and apply them to uniform coat thicknesses provided solutions to many oral pharmaceutical delivery challenges.

The Wurster process uses differential air flow to re-circulate particles through an atomized coating system. Process application was often viewed as an “art” due to the complex process dynamics and inadequate understanding of those dynamics. Core material re-circulation guarantees coating, but not coating quality. Optimal processing includes optimal particle flow, optimal drying or congealing temperature, optimal spray rate, and optimal atomization. A sub-optimal parameter setting in one or more of these areas or others can compromise the coating process and the performance of the applied coating.

The first portion of this webinar provides an in-depth look at Wurster process dynamics. It goes beyond the art of the process to scientific principles behind that art. Equipment design and configuration, process parameters, and product performance relationships are explored to help define optimal processing strategy and assure optimal process application. Included are plate design considerations, process air needs, temperature influences, spray capacity, and atomization. This is extended to scaling practices and minimizing or eliminating scaling effects.

Beyond these processing concerns is the coating formulation. Expertise from over 50 years of Wurster fluid bed formulation development and application will be shared. Use of extended release, enteric, delayed release, and multiple coating layers to achieve delivery goals will be discussed, including applicable coating strategies and integration of core particle engineering processes such as drug layering, granulation, extrusion-spheronization, and drug-ion resin complexes.

Register for this webinar to gain a deeper understanding of optimal Wurster fluid bed processing and coat formulation strategy, as well as the value of both in meeting oral pharmaceutical-controlled delivery goals.



Charles R. Frey, Vice President of Scientific Affairs, Coating Place, Inc.

Charles (Chuck) Frey joined Coating Place in 1999 after holding R&D positions with Dow Chemical, Betz Laboratories, and Gilson Medical Electronics. Since joining CPI, he has been intimately involved with Wurster fluid bed coating formulation development, process optimization, scale-up, validation, and commercial production. He has lectured on fluid bed coating at many workshops and short courses through the Controlled Release Society, Bioencapsulation Research Group, and the Center for Professional Advancement and contributed several book chapters on fluid bed coating and its application in pharmaceuticals and foods. His primary interests include formulation strategies to meet product performance goals and elucidation of engineering principles and phenomena that influence fluid bed coating dynamics.

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Jared McDonald, Director of Formulation Development, Coating Place, Inc.

Jared McDonald has 18 years of microencapsulation experience including analytical, technical, and management positions. He is currently the Director of Formulation Development at Coating Place, Inc. (CPI) where he oversees research and development including formulating, design of experiments, technical transfer, scale up, and statistical process control to best suit the needs of CPI’s clients for pharmaceutical, nutritional, food, and industrial products.  He has a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point.

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Who Should Attend?

  • Formulators
  • Research and Development Personnel
  • Process Engineers
  • Quality Personnel

What You Will Learn

In this webinar, participants will learn about:

  • A more intimate technical understanding of Wurster (bottom spray) coating technology
  • An overview of common controlled release delivery challenges and coating strategies to meet them
  • The processing and formulation scope of Oradel® delivery technology

Xtalks Partner

Coating Place

Coating Place, founded in 1976, has over 45 years of experience in the pharmaceutical CDMO industry. We have advanced the design of our Wurster coating units by developing proprietary fluidization plates and nozzles. This technology, along with feasibility studies, linear scalability, and product development services enables Coating Place to provide customers with the highest quality services available in the Wurster fluid bed coating industry. In addition to Wurster coating, Coating Place is also capable of other support services for research and commercial manufacturing. This includes services such as granulation, extrusion/spheronization, milling, tableting and capsule filing. We combine experience and expertise in engineering, development and manufacturing to offer efficiency in the movement of a project from small-scale development to commercial manufacturing.

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