Melbourn Invests In Malvern Image Analysis System

Melbourn Scientific has invested in Malvern Instruments' Morphologi G3, an automated image analysis system for particle characterisation and foreign-particulate contamination. According to Derek Solomon, laboratory manager at Melbourn Scientific, a provider of contract analytical, formulation and drug development services, particle morphology can affect the performance of the final product. He said: 'Subtle differences in particle size or shape can have significant effects on product performance, including bioavailability, flowability, product stability, blending and tabletting efficiency.

'Even within well-controlled API production, additional processing steps such as crystallisation, drying, milling, blending and filtering can all introduce variability into the product and have to be precisely controlled. 'Therefore, the characterisation of particle morphology is becoming increasingly important as companies seek detailed knowledge of particle behaviour during processing. 'Morphologi G3 offers extra sensitivity and resolution than is available in traditional techniques and offers our clients the potential to identify, measure and monitor those process variables that are critical to product quality.

'We anticipate this new equipment will provide greater consistency in the descriptions and allow clients to better correlate morphology data against processing parameters such as flowability, active area or grinding efficiency,' added Solomon. Mark Hammond chief executive officer of Melbourn Scientific, said: 'By applying quality-by-design principles, companies can then control the performance of particulate materials from development through to production. 'In a project for one of our clients, we have recently introduced Morphologi G3 to provide automated image analysis for sub-visible foreign particulates.

'It is a very accurate technology for detecting the presence of very small numbers of foreign particles and reduces reliance on the user interpretation of particle shape characteristics. 'For most projects, we continue to use light microscopy or light obscuration techniques for sub-visible particle characterisation. 'However, a benefit with Morphologi G3 is that the shape parameters are accurately recorded automatically for every particle.

'These can be grouped with similar particles to provide a "fingerprint" of each sample and helps to remove some of the subjectivity,' he added. 'From our initial studies, the Morphologi G3 looks to have wide-ranging applications within our range of formulation and analytical services, providing consistent results in a short time period,' said Solomon.


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