Microscopy & Microtechniques

  • Temperature Controlled Stages help Researchers to advance the knowledge of Pharmaceutical Processes 

Temperature Controlled Stages help Researchers to advance the knowledge of Pharmaceutical Processes 

Mar 26 2014

Linkam Scientific Instruments (UK) report on the use of their stages in the study of pharmaceutical processes at the Robert Gordon University, Scotland.

The School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences at the Robert Gordon University have been using Linkam systems to look at the behaviour of drugs at varying temperatures. This relatively young university was awarded with the prestigious ‘The Sunday Times Best Modern University in the UK’ in 2012 with the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences being one of the key factors contributing to this recognition.

Dr Kerr Mathews, a lecturer in Pharmaceutics at the University since 2004, has focused a lot of time and effort in key interests in the area of drug delivery and formulation science. In particular, the research and development of solid and liquid drug delivery systems have been extensively undertaken.

Dr Matthews has used both a Linkam LTS stage and a FDCS stage to study the phase transitions of drugs, excipients and delivery systems as a function of temperature. He has found the equipment to be integral to his work. "We find this classic technique of qualitative analysis invaluable when used in conjunction with differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) or thermogravimetry (TGA), especially to corroborate assignment of phase transitions in solids or liquids."

He added that the ability to study the samples under polarised light is also of vital importance. "We also use the capabilities of a materials microscope fitted with cross-polarising filters in both transmitted and reflected light modes, to assess the degree of anisotropy in solid solutions, polymers and assorted dosage forms."

Lyophilisation is another application that is of particular interest to Dr. Matthews and his team. They have used the Linkam FDCS 196 stage to recreate low temperature conditions which are encountered during the pharmaceutical freeze drying process.

With the ever increasing cost of pharmaceutical products, the importance of research into the formulation and stability of drugs has never been higher. World renowned companies from all over the globe use such research to optimise the synthesis and storage of their products. 


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