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Particle Size Analysis in the Pharmaceutical Sector

Pharmaceutical products are comprised of tightly-controlled ratios of biologically active ingredients and excipient materials, the latter of which are designed to act as a drug carrying vehicle. The relationship between these compounded chemicals is critical in understanding drug dosage and efficacy, with multiple parameters affecting the ideal composition values of bulk medicinal products.

Particle size, and the particle size distribution of these distinct chemicals can have large impacts on the therapeutic properties, the uptake values, and the stability of end-product pharmaceuticals.



This blog post will explore the importance of particle size analysis in the pharmaceutical sector in more detail:

Particle Size Analysis of Active Ingredients and Excipients

Mechanical stability and solubility are among the most crucial properties to consider when manufacturing dosage form pharmaceutical products. These characteristics determine the longevity of a commercially-viable drug, and its absorption capacities.

In pharmacological contexts, absorption refers to the movement of chemicals from dissolution in vivo to the bloodstream. Biologically active pharmaceuticals can be introduced to the blood directly through intravenous methods, although most marketed pharmaceuticals are ingested less invasively through inhalation or consumption. Once the dosage form drug has become dissolute within the body, it can permeate the bloodstream barrier and begin to have a therapeutic effect.

The rate of absorption and concentration of active ingredients to inert materials is directly proportional to the scale and duration of medicinal effects. These can be modified by altering the surface composition of the dosage form product, or adjusting the particle size of either the therapeutic ingredient or the drug carrier. Few factors affect the rate of absorption from the gastrointestinal tract as much as particle size.

Particle size analysis provides a quantitative foundation for assessing and altering a drug’s performance, stability, and both its dissolution and absorption rates, by establishing suitable combinations of active ingredients and excipients based on particle size relationships. Laser diffraction and dynamic light scattering analysis is regularly administered throughout pharmaceutical research and development, and manufacturing processes.

Particle Size Analysis with Meritics

Meritics provides a broad range of particle size analyzers with proven pharmaceutical applications. Our product catalogue features the most precise analytical equipment available, with cutting edge methodologies and imaging instrumentation. These include:

  • The LS 13 320 XR, an enhanced laser diffraction particle size analyzer with a dynamic measuring range of 10 nanometers (nm) – 3,000 micrometers (µm);
  • The FlowCAM series, a robust range of particle size analyzers specialized for distinct applications, from observation of sub-visible particles to macro-molecules of up to 5,000 µm dimensions;
  • The Multisizer 4e, a versatile particle sizer enhanced with digital pulse processing technology for high-resolution imaging of organic and inorganic particles between 200 nm – 1,600 µm;
  • The Spectradyne nCS1, a high-resolution nanoparticle size analyzer capable of electronically producing particle size distributions for particles of 40 nm – 2 µm in solutions of just 2-3 microliters (µl).

If you would like to find out more about our particle size analyzers, please do not hesitate to contact us.