Pharmaceutical Eye Ointment Utilizes Sonic Homogenizer

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No doubt you have had something in your eye that has caused discomfort. Therefore, when making an eye ointment it is not only important to deliver the active ingredient to the eye, but also extremely important that the delivery medium not have any small particles that can be felt by the patient. A pharmaceutical company approached Sonic with their eye ointment, however, the ointment while effective had very small particles in the carrier medium. This meant that the patient using the ointment would feel the small particles and the sensation was similar to the feeling of having something in the eye. As you can imagine, the feeling of having something in the eye meant that no matter how effective the active ingredient, the treatment would not be used because of the discomfort experienced by the patient. All of this meant the product was useless.


Sonic suggested a proof of concept trial in our lab. The pharmaceutical company agreed and provided a sample of material for the trial. We suggested a trial of the carrier medium only, because the active ingredient was very expensive. However, the client insisted that the ointment including the active ingredient be tested in the Sonolator high pressure homogenizer to ensure not only desired reduction in particle size of the carrier medium, but also effective dispersion of the active ingredient. This led to the most expensive lab test in the history of Sonic Corporation. The client attended the trial and provided a sample of eye ointment worth over $50,000 to test in our lab equipment. Unfortunately, this material was good for analysis only because the Sonic lab is not maintained at pharmaceutical industry hygiene standards.

The good news is the time, money and effort was worthwhile. The particle size of the carrier medium was reduced to a point that it was no longer a possible irritant to the eye.


The images below show the Sonolator homogenizer design. This system was designed specifically for the pharmaceutical environment. Note the sloped electrical boxes, stainless steel motor, white epoxy wash-down duty painted parts. The rest of the system is 316L stainless steel with wash-down duty electrical connections and stainless steel levelers. This Sonolator homogenizer is rated to deliver up to 400 PSI at up to 35 gallons per minute. The progressive cavity pump is 3A sanitary rated. All the piping is engineered for clean-in-place (CIP) operations, this includes a Sonolator orifice bypass, sloped piping with low point drains and automated valving to facilitate CIP procedures.


Sonic Corporation’s custom manufactured Sonolator homogenizer systems can be designed and manufactured to meet the most demanding environments. Whether the pharmaceutical industry or the explosion proof chemical industry Sonic can provide mixing, emulsion, dispersion and blending solutions for all environments and process goals.

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About the Author:

Rob Brakeman
Owner & Director