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Thursday 17th May 2012
Advances in Raman spectroscopy in pharmaceutical analysis
Royal Society of Chemistry, London
This major symposium was oganised jointly by the Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies (FACSS), the Joint Pharmaceutical Analysis Group (JPAG), the Royal Society of Chemistry Molecular Spectroscopy Group (MSG) and the Infrared & Raman Discussion Group (IRDG)

Raman spectroscopy has found favour in pharmaceutical analysis because it is non-destructive, requires minimal sample preparation and gives clear spectra for identification. The programme demonstrated a breadth of successful Raman applications spanning the R&D field, active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) development, scale-up and manufacturing, as well as drug product formulation development, characterisation and product assay. The topics covered are briefly reviewed below.
Characterising amorphous and crystalline forms of APIs is one area in which Raman spectroscopy can be used whether for monitoring transformations or salt to free form conversion. Raman methods can also be moved from the development site to in-line methods at a manufacturing site. One exciting new application described was the joining of Raman spectroscopy to an image analyser to measure not only the chemistry of individual particles, but also their size and shape to use the information to improve product uniformity and performance, as well as a more informed optimization of the drug product manufacturing process. However, conventional Raman microscopy can still be used to identify components of solid dosage forms and its use to reverse engineer pharmaceutical tablets was well demonstrated.
Removing the effects of packaging to identify raw materials with Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy [SORS] is a novel Raman concept permitting unobstructed probing of unopened translucent packaging in raw materials testing. It gives a wider range of packaging accessible than with conventional Raman spectroscopy with faster and more cost effective materials testing.
Transmission Raman spectroscopy was shown to be the way forward in many applications for the identification of polymorphs with high accuracy and low levels of quantification compared to backscattering methods. Finally, new hand-held Raman instruments were compared with conventional laboratory based instruments. What you gain is rapidity, mobility, ease of use and on the spot identifications at the expense of low spectral quality, higher fluorescence and less Raman scattering.
The Duncan Bryant Prize for the best poster, awarded by the Royal Society of Chemistry Molecular Spectroscopy Group, was won by Miss Rajni Miglani of Strathclyde University.
The Joint Pharmaceutical Analysis Group acknowledges with thanks the sponsorship of this symposium by the following companies: Clairet Scientific, Horiba, BaySpec, Lambda Photometrics and Cobalt Light.




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Delegates at a symposium held at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society





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