Jeffrey D. McGinn
Pharmaceutical Processing – April 2, 2015
Polarized light microscopes are now optimized to offer extreme resolution of pharmaceutical products. When coupled with the latest thermal stages, pharmaceutical scientists are able to determine particle size, locate contaminants and determine lyophilization parameters quickly and accurately.
Thermal microscopy requires adding a heating/cooling stage to a microscope, usually in conjunction with other analytical methods such as differential scanning calorimetry, gravimetric analysis, IR, Raman, humidity studies and X-ray diffraction. Using a thermal stage with a polarized light microscope is the preferred method because it offers the scientist the advantage of directly observing phase transitions. Also, being able to insert a full-wave plate is critical, as some of the solid-state transitions can only be seen in polarized light.