We applied the Quality by Design (QbD) approach to the development of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticle formulations encapsulating triamcinolone acetonide, and the critical process parameters (CPPs) were identified to clarify the correlations between critical quality attributes and CPPs. Quality risk management was performed by using an Ishikawa diagram and experiments with a fractional factorial design (ANOVA). The CPPs for particle size were PLGA concentration and rotation speed, and the CPP for relative drug loading efficiency was the poor solvent to good solvent volume ratio. By assessing the mutually related factors in the form of ratios, many factors could be efficiently considered in the risk assessment. We found a two-factor interaction between rotation speed and rate of addition of good solvent by using a fractional factorial design with resolution V. The system was then extended by using a central composite design, and the results obtained were visualized by using the response surface method to construct a design space. Our research represents a case study of the application of the QbD approach to pharmaceutical development, including formulation screening, by taking actual production factors into consideration. Our findings support the feasibility of using a similar approach to nanoparticle formulations under development. We could establish an efficient method of analyzing the CPPs of PLGA nanoparticles by using a QbD Approach.
Vol. 65 (2017) No. 3 p. 218-228