Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIR)
Near Infrared vibrational spectroscopy is the best-known and most applied technique for in-line and at-line characterization of chemical and physical (intermediate) product properties. Numerous applications are known for at-line / lab-systems as well as for in-line PAT systems and Imaging. NIR is particularly suitable for content and composition analysis and a common technique for identification of raw materials and endproducts.
Typical applications include content of specific ingredients or moisture in powders, tablets, extrudates, freeze dried products, suspensions, liquids and creams. NIR offers the possibility to analyse non-invasively at high speed in combination with very limited or no sample pre-treatment which makes the technology particularly interesting for larger sample amounts or analysis for which results are required within minutes.
The above mentioned characteristics of NIR make this technology especially suitable as a PAT tool. Besides the fast and non-invasive character of NIR, the instrumentation is known to be very robust and can be applied safely in almost all types of processing areas. NIR is therefore the most common technique for blend uniformity applications.
To extract the required information from raw spectral data, multivariate chemometric analysis techniques play an important role in NIR spectroscopy. Methods include Principal Component Analysis (PCA), Partial Least Squares Regression (PLS) and other quantitative as well as qualitative analysis methods. InProcess-LSP has extensive experience in development and validation of a variety of these approaches and can support you in finding the optimal fit-for-purpose modelling approach.
NIR Hyperspectral imaging builds a spectral map of materials by acquisition of localized NIR spectra. Resulting images form a complete absorption map at each wavelength, which allows characterization of chemical uniformity and local composition for a broad range of systems. Pharmaceutical and life science applications range from in/at-line characterization of agglomerates or contamination in powder blends and tablets to mapping demixing and local content in polymeric formulations, gels, and creams.
We offer NIR-imaging services in our lab for formulation development support and trouble-shooting. Additionally we can help evaluate benefits of in-line applications for your project and provide consultancy, method development and support for such PAT application.
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
Optical Coherence Tomography is a high-speed interferometric imaging method that yields high-resolution cross-sectional 2D or 3D images of translucent/opaque materials. It can be considered as optical equivalent of ultrasound imaging, providing the physical (optical scattering) structure inside your product to a depth of a few mm. It is highly suited for spatially resolved thickness and defect characterization in coatings and (multi)layers, e.g. functional tablet coatings where these properties are crucial or for quality of welds or seals in capsules, polymeric devices or packaging.
With suitable image interpretation and custom-made analysis software, OCT can be employed for rapid measurement of the physical properties relevant for your project. In partnership with Thorlabs we can provide custom-made applications to meet your specific requirements, whether it concerns at-line applications or in-line realtime monitoring methods.
Transforming raw measurement data into the relevant information on process performance or product properties is essential for successful application of PAT methods. It can be challenging for companies to find the required data- analysis expertise and resources along with the relevant knowledge of the analytical method, the process and the product. InProcess-LSP supports customers with tailor-made advanced data analysis and modelling services. We offer chemometric calibration and multivariate/statistical analysis for spectroscopic and Process Analytical projects. In addition, we offer advanced image analysis for any imaging technique, including chemical (hyperspectral) imaging. To support and improve customers’ process and product development with better mechanistic understanding, we also develop predictive physical/mechanistic models for process simulation in specific areas. In all cases we provide tailor made solutions using custom written analysis algorithms.
- Image analysis: morphological analysis, object sizing/ characterization, statistical analysis)
- Multivariate data analysis: spectral data, multi-sensor process data, DoE and Monte Carlo simulation.
- Nano-particle analysis and Rheology
The NanoFlowSizer is an inhouse developed nanoparticle sizing technology based on spatially resolved dynamic light scattering, offering unique capabilities to measure highly turbid nano-suspensions and emulsions without sample dilution or other sample preparation requirements. The NanoFlowSizer technology enables measurements in flow/agitation which allows direct inline measurement during processing. Since nanoparticle size characteristics can be obtained at high frequency in a continuous mode the NanoFlowSizer offers unique capabilities to study dynamic behavior of nanoparticles like growth or aggregation. Typical operational particle size range of is 10-1000nm.
For nano-particle analysis by NanoFlowSizer typically input parameters like viscosity are important. InProcess-LSP can provide all necessary rheological properties of your samples as well (see rheological studies).
(see for more information about NanoFlowSizer www.nanoflowsizer.com)
Rheological properties such as viscosity, shear thinning and yield stress of liquids, polymers, gels or pastes are of vital importance both for successful processing and as final quality attribute of products.
InProcess-LSP can support you with full rheological studies of your products using our state-of-the-art instrumentation and our broad experience in rheological measurement and data-interpretation based on the composition of your formulation. The measurement spectrum we offer includes all standard tests (e.g. shear rate dependent viscosity, yield stress, storage and loss moduli, creep and their temperature dependence) as well as customized tests with tooling and protocols customized for your specific sample needs.