Part of the Oxford Instruments Group

Pharmaceutics & Cosmetics

The development and production of drug delivery systems requires efficient and reliable control mechanisms to ensure the quality of the final products. These products can vary widely in composition and application. Therefore analytical tools such as the WITec imaging systems that provide both comprehensive chemical characterization and the flexibility to adjust the method to the investigated specimen are preferred in pharmaceutical research.

WITec’s highly versatile instruments can combine various imaging techniques to significantly increase the insights provided by measurement results. Possible combinations which can be included in a single microscope setup include confocal Raman imaging, Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Nearfield-Microscopy (SNOM) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Confocal Raman imaging provides chemical information, AFM detects topography, structure, and physical properties such as stiffness, adhesion, etc. of the sample’s surface, and SNOM high-resolution measurements can optically reach beyond the diffraction limit. All WITec instrument configurations can be upgraded at any point to adapt the system to new or extended requirements.

Confocal Raman imaging can be used to survey the distribution of components within formulations, to characterize homogeneity of pharmaceutical samples, to determine the solid state of drug substances and excipients and to characterize contaminations and foreign particulates. The information obtained by confocal Raman microscopy is also extremely useful for drug substance design, for the development of solid and liquid formulations, as a tool for process analytics and for patent infringement and counterfeit analysis.

Confocal Raman depth-scan image of a drug-eluting stent. Blue: Polymer substrate; Red: Drug-eluting polymer coating; Green: Drug.

Application Examples

Confocal Raman Image of an emulsion (ointment). Blue: active ingredient solved in water; Red & Green: Ointment base.
High-resolution AFM phase image of a drug eluting stent surface showing the polymer substrate structure with the embedded drug particle.
Topographic confocal Raman image of a pharmaceutical tablet. Left: Topography analyzed with TrueSurface Microscopy; Right: Confocal Raman image overlayed on topography.


Application Note Pharmaceutics

Application Note 3D Confocal Raman Imaging

Application Note ParticleScout


If you'd like to learn more about the possibilities of Raman imaging for your individual field of application, one of our specialists will be happy to discuss them with you.

Contact us