Microscopy is key in the research, formulation and manufacturing stages of pharmaceutical product development. Optimizing particle size, morphology and roughness of pharmaceutical materials is paramount when developing a new drug compound and its delivery vehicle. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and optical microscopy are useful tools to assist in the optimization of these properties.
Size distribution and morphology of pharmaceutical particles containing either active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) or excipients is critical in optimizing dissolution rates of materials and compounding processes. Coupled with automated data acquisition and particle analysis software, SEM is ideal for determining the size and morphology of particles. The chemical composition of particles needs to be characterized when analyzing the efficacy of mixing or when checking for foreign particulate matter. The Phenom ProX SEM can also be paired with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) to analyze the chemical composition of individual particles.
Polarized light and interference contrast microscopies are used to investigate the crystal structure of components or elucidate solid or semi-solid particles suspended in a medium of similar contrast like a polymer or liquid. The Zeta-20 3D optical profiler is an extendable metrology platform that provides complete optical analyses including enhanced differential interference contrast (ZIC) in addition to the standard 3D profilometry.
Particle distribution, morphology and chemical composition
SEM imaging and EDS analysis applied to pharmaceutical QA/QC
Use SEM/EDS to determine the composition of foreign particles extracted from injectable drug compounds.
Deformulation, also referred to as reverse engineering, for the pharmaceutical industry
Characterize pharmaceutical surfaces and coatings with 3D profilometry, AFM, SEM and elemental analysis
Case studies using the Phenom SEM for pharmaceutical and medical research