The use of ultrasound during the tableting of pharmaceutical powders is a new concept. However, in the metallurgy, plastic, and ceramic industries, ultrasound-assisted compression of materials has been known for some years. Ultrasound improves the characteristics of the compression process leading to optimized mechanical strength of the compacts without applying excessive compression force. Therefore, problems associated with high-pressure compression in tableting can be overcome and tablets may be manufactured more economically and consistently with the aid of ultrasound compared to conventional pressure processes. Although great progress in the theoretical understanding of the ultrasound-assisted powder compression process has been made since the late 1960s, the need for further research in the area of ultrasound application during pharmaceutical powder compression is essential. Further investigations on a wide range of drugs and excipients, to expand the usefulness and scope of the ultrasound-assisted technique, and to understand the complex phenomena involved in the process, are needed. In this article the principles, advantages, and limitations of the application of ultrasonic vibrations during pharmaceutical powder compression is reviewed with the hope that this article can contribute to, and stimulate research in the area.
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