What Is a Dissolution System?

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  • Written By: B. Turner
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 13 December 2019
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A dissolution system is a type of equipment used in the pharmaceutical industry. These systems are primarily used to formulate and test medicinal tablets and capsules. A dissolution system dissolves a solid in a liquid, mimicking the way pills dissolve within the human body. This allows researchers and manufacturers to determine what effect these pills will have on the body, and also plays a major role in the quality control process.

These systems are generally divided into multiple stations, which allows users to test multiple samples at the same time. Each station consists of a small container situated beneath a testing syringe. The stations are linked to a central operating or control system, and many also connect to storage or waste facilities. Each station may be designed to test a batch of medicine just once, or to test it in various intervals as solids dissolve within the container.

Each dissolution system may feature manual or automated operation. Manual units require users to fill and empty each container by hand. These simple units may also provide a basic results display, which the user can read and record. More advanced systems are run completely by robotics, and are able to fill and empty each container automatically. These units test and record each sample and transfer data to a central server or processor.


Both small and large dissolution system models typically feature a built-in monitor or computer that users rely on to operate the system or collect data. These units use specialty software designed to interpret the dissolution results, and to store them in an organized format. Some connect to the Internet to compare results against a central database, or to store results on a central server.

During testing, the dissolution system may use a variety of operating principles, depending on its design. Some use a simple syringe to pull a sample from each container. Others pass a fiber optic cable through the solution, while still others test the solution using ultra violet rays.

A dissolution system may perform many tasks to help users address various manufacturing and quality-control needs. These machines test the rate at which tablets or capsules dissolve to help determine if they will distribute medicine correctly and safely within the body. They also test the dosage of each pill, as well as the size of the particles each pill contains. Finally, a dissolution system tests the concentration and quantity of medicine to confirm they meet legal and industry standards.


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