In the 1980s, BASF became the first company to apply hot melt extrusion (HME) to the production of pharmaceuticals for enhancing the solubility and bioavailability of poorly soluble actives. Today, HME is an accepted process for creating solid dispersions of APIs.

Our aim is to help our customers discover the many benefits of this technology, and assist them in leveraging it for their products. The true potential of hot-melt extrusion for pharmaceutical applications is just beginning to be uncovered – and our research continues to blaze new trails in this exciting field.

Hot Melt Extrusion with BASF Pharma Polymers

Our 2nd Edition HME Compendia offers details on polymer properties, processing, and performance advantages.

Download our HME Compendia
Stock photo a table in a chemical laboratory with granules and chemical glassware at a plant for the production 1495547900

Technology At A Glance

Hot-melt extrusion is used to prepare solid dispersions of poorly soluble active pharmaceutical ingredients, and for creating controlled-release medications. In this process, active ingredients are compounded with polymers that have suitable glass transition temperatures (such as Kollidon® VA 64 and Soluplus®), and extruded at an appropriate temperature to form a solid dispersion. This polymer matrix acts as a solid solvent for the drug molecules, and brings advantages in stability, solubility, and bioavailability. The API can be amorphous, molecularly dispersed or crystalline dispersed within the polymer – depending on the application. 

Explore Our Solid Dispersion Product Families 

Search our diverse portfolio of Povidones, Copovidones, Poloxamers, Matrices, and more.

See Product Families

3D Printing

Our polymers can be used in 3D printing!

  • Many of the polymeric excipients traditionally used in HME are also ideally suited for 3D printing technology

  • Second and third co-excipients can be added to adjust flow properties and optimize nozzle feeding

  • Addition of the appropriate plasticizers and solubilizers can be used to tailor wetting, release, and dissolution behavior

Learn more in the American Pharmaceutical Review

Stock photo shot of sterile precision manufacturing laboratory with d printers super computers and other 1268263708

Quality-By-Design (QBD)

Spray drying and drug layering enable robust formulation and product development driven by the principles of Quality-by-Design (QbD). Critical Quality Attributes of the spray dried intermediate and the final tablets or granules can be optimized through controlled variables like loading, solvent selection, inlet temperature, and atomization pressure.



Our modules are specifically designed to help you formulate poorly soluble drugs. Try ZoomLab to optimize and predict your next formulation online, instantly:

Sign up
Graphic of zoomlab webpage with representative standing in front


Looking for specific functionality? Explore our virtual pharma assistant My Product World for a comprehensive list of excipients solutions in one convenient interactive platform.

Sign up
Graphic of myproductworld webpage with representative standing in front

Get In Touch

Have questions about our products and services? BASF’s team of experts is here to answer all of your questions.

Stay intouch with us!

Subscribe to our mailing list and be the first to receive the latest information on BASF products, services and events by e-mail.

Notice of collection under the California Consumer Act can be found here.

Related Resources