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Application Note: Are you seeing the whole picture with Raman?

Posted: 15 January 2016 | | No comments yet

Raman spectroscopy offers a rapid, convenient method for positive identification of pharmaceutical products and their raw materials – on the manufacturing floor, in inventory, and at the shipping dock.

Not only is this spectral fingerprinting method non-contact, but it can also penetrate glass and plastic packaging. This eliminates the need to open blister packs, pill bottles or vials, and simplifies the process of identification. Many commercial Raman instruments, however, sample a very small area of the product, and thus may provide an incomplete picture of overall composition when it comes to pharmaceuticals.

Pharmaceuticals that combine multiple APIs with excipients like fillers, binders, colouring agents, preservatives and/or sweeteners tend to be inhomogeneous when viewed at a microscopic scale. Depending on the interrogation area of the Raman probe relative to the crystal size and degree of inhomogeneity within the product under test, a static Raman probe may not see all components within the sample equally with a single measurement.

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