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May 7, 2024

Dissolution testing is a crucial stage in the development of pharmaceuticals. It provides essential information about the release rate and dissolution characteristics of drug formulations. When researchers and pharmaceutical scientists invest in a dissolution testing system, they need to consider several factors to ensure accurate and reliable results. This purchasing guide outlines the key features and specifications that one should look for when selecting a dissolution system, including glassware considerations.

1. Compliance and Regulatory Requirements

One of the foremost considerations when purchasing a dissolution testing system is compliance with regulatory standards such as those set by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) or the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Ensure that the system meets the current regulatory requirements for dissolution testing, including USP <711> and <724> for apparatus and method validation.

2. Apparatus Type

There are several types of dissolution apparatus available, including the most common USP apparatuses:

  • Apparatus 1 (Basket): Suitable for most solid oral dosage forms
  • Apparatus 2 (Paddle): Ideal for tablets, capsules, and other dosage forms that are not intended to float
  • Apparatus 3 (Reciprocating Cylinder): Often used for modified-release dosage forms or capsules

Choose the appropriate apparatus type based on the specific requirements of your formulations and regulatory guidelines.

3. Automation and Control

Modern dissolution systems offer varying degrees of automation and control. Consider features such as:

  • Automated Sampling: Ability to automatically withdraw samples at predefined intervals
  • Temperature Control: Precise temperature regulation is crucial for accurate results
  • Stirring Speed Control: Adjustable stirring speeds for different formulations
  • Online Monitoring: Real-time monitoring of dissolution profiles

4. Software Capabilities

The software associated with the dissolution system plays a significant role in data acquisition, analysis, and compliance. Look for features such as:

  • Data Integrity: Ensure compliance with 21 CFR Part 11 and other regulatory guidelines
  • Method Development Tools: User-friendly interfaces for method development and validation
  • Data Visualization: Graphical representation of dissolution profiles and statistical analysis tools

5. Sample Capacity and Flexibility

Consider the sample capacity and flexibility of the dissolution system, particularly if you anticipate working with a variety of formulations and batch sizes. Look for systems that offer:

  • Multiple Vessels: Ability to run multiple samples simultaneously
  • Interchangeable Vessels: Compatibility with different vessel sizes and types for flexibility in testing

6. Maintenance and Service Support

A reliable after-sales service and maintenance support are crucial for the smooth operation of the dissolution system. Factors to consider include:

  • Manufacturer Reputation: Choose a reputable manufacturer with a track record of quality and reliability
  • Service Contracts: Availability of service contracts and technical support
  • Ease of Maintenance: User-friendly design for easy maintenance and troubleshooting

7. Glassware Specifications

In addition to the dissolution system itself, the quality and specifications of the glassware used are essential for accurate testing. Consider the following:

  • Material: High-quality borosilicate glass is preferred for its resistance to chemical attack and thermal shock
  • Dimensions: Ensure that the dimensions of the vessels comply with regulatory standards
  • Uniformity: Tight tolerance on inner diameter (ID), outer diameter (OD), concentricity, and camber minimize adsorption and ensure reproducible results
  • Alignment: Proper alignment of the vessels ensures consistent dissolution conditions across all samples


Investing in a dissolution testing system is a crucial decision for pharmaceutical researchers. To select a suitable system, carefully consider the essential features and specifications outlined in this guide and browse our selection of Dissolution Testing Systems

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