Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) microscopy

Visualization and identification of particles in (bio)pharmaceutical samples by FTIR.

Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) microscopy combines the power of an optical microscope with the analytical capabilities of FTIR spectroscopy. This combination is of great value for particle characterization and identification.

Identification of individual particles

A major benefit of FTIR microscopy is the possibility to distinguish between non- proteinaceous and proteinaceous particles and to identify the nature of the non-proteinaceous particles. Our cutting-edge equipment allows us to analyze samples without the need for liquid nitrogen cooling in transmission-, reflection- and also attenuated total reflection (ATR) mode. This reduces the need for sample preparation and enables a variety of applications.

To perform FTIR microscopy, (sub)visible particles present in a sample are first isolated on a filter, preferably a metal-coated membrane or a gold filter. Next, bright field images are taken from the particles and IR spectra are obtained for each individual particle. By using either the ATR or the transmission mode, spectra from particles as small as ca. 20 µm can obtained. Hereby, the absorption of light due to molecular vibration is detected in the wavelength range from 0.8 to 1000 µm (usually expressed as wavenumbers from 12,500 cm-1 to 10 cm-1). The resulting spectra is used to identify a wide range of compounds by comparing the measured spectra to spectral databases or reference compounds provided by our clients.

FTIR microscopy is very powerful for troubleshooting and root-cause analysis. Coriolis offers FTIR microscopy as a stand-alone service or as part of a particle identification study or formulation development program.

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