Advanced science.  Applied technology.


SwRI expands microencapsulation capabilities with customized fluid bed coater

For immediate release

San Antonio – September 30, 2015 – Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI) has expanded its microencapsulation research and development capabilities with a Glatt GPGC-2 Fluid Bed Coater. This customized device increases SwRI’s capacity to create special processes and coatings for ingredients used in pharmaceuticals, consumer products, and other applications.

“This custom fluid bed coater will expand our coatings capacity six-fold from our current 2 liter drying chamber to a 12 liter drying chamber,” said James Oxley, Ph.D., a principal scientist in the SwRI Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division. “It allows us to handle volatile solvents and to use ‘melts,’ which are waxes and fats used to coat pharmaceuticals, processed food, and animal feed.”

Fluid bed coating, also called air suspension coating, is the second most common encapsulation method. Using this equipment, chemists apply coatings to solid particles in an approach similar to spray painting objects.

“Our strength in the microencapsulation field is the wide variety of solutions we offer our clients, coupled with the ability to demonstrate these solutions at laboratory to pilot scales, or initial development to small batch, on-site at SwRI,” Oxley said.

The new fluid bed coater will be online in the first quarter of 2016. The equipment meets current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) and offers optimum process control and enhanced safety. SwRI scientists offer custom capsule design, pilot-scale production, and coating performance evaluation and testing. After SwRI develops an encapsulation formulation, clients can take the formulation process to a contract manufacturer, or SwRI will work with a manufacturer to assist them to scale up production.

Since 1949, SwRI scientists have worked with clients from around the world to develop new encapsulation technology. A pioneer in the field of microencapsulation, SwRI provides contract research and development for pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, food, consumer product, agricultural, oil and gas, and other industrial clients seeking formulation development for micro- and nanocapsule development.

The SwRI Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division is accredited to ISO 9001:2008. For more information, visit

For more information, contact Tracey M.S. Whelan, (210) 522-2256, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238-5166.