The Value of Pharmaceutical Microscopy

The McCrone Group has built a reputation as the industry leader in pharmaceutical microscopy sales, service, and education. Our team of experienced microscopists have visited hundreds of pharmaceutical laboratories over the years, setting up complex freeze-dry microscope systems, scanning electron microscopes, and research grade polarized light and/or stereo microscopes, all to aid in the critical science of pharmaceutical microscopy. In this issue of Nanographia, we celebrate our presence at the upcoming 2015 AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition by looking at the value of pharmaceutical microscopy.

Walter McCrone said “there are very few problems for which microscopy will not make a major contribution but there are many which can be solved completely”. In the world of pharmaceutical microscopy, we take the same approach, and narrow it down to three critical components: size, shape, and morphological analysis, solid-state form analysis, and identification of contaminants.

Size, shape, and morphological analysis of a pharmaceutical product is of importance because it leads to an understanding of the bulk system properties, and allows the researcher to predict the response of the system in different situations. Microscopy can yield qualitative and quantitative estimates of particle size and shape. Ensuring that a microscope system is configured properly will guarantee the best possible resolution of the product, thereby producing accurate results.

Solid-state form analysis relates directly to thermal microscopy, an area in which McCrone Microscopes & Accessories is the worldwide leader. As an official worldwide Linkam dealer, over 50 percent of the thermal analysis systems we provide to our customers are for pharmaceutical research. Thermal microscopy provides direct observations in interpreting transitions detected by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The McCrone Freeze-Dry Microscope System allows for direct correlation to DSC data produced in the lyophilization laboratory.

McCrone Freeze Dry System

When an unknown material is discovered in a pharmaceutical product, manufacturers must identify the contaminant and determine its source. Much like forensic science, pharmaceutical contamination identification may require a multitude of microscopy/analytical techniques, including scanning electron microscopy, Infrared microspectroscopy, stereo-microscopy and polarized light microscopy. Since a correlation exists between the bottom line of an organization and the presence of contaminants, the quicker they can be identified, the better!

At The McCrone Group, we have a deep appreciation for pharmaceutical microscopy and the many paths it can take. Please contact us today to visit with you in your lab to discuss ways to streamline your research in pharmaceutical microscopy.


add comment