Particle Technology Labs

Particle Dispersion for Size Analysis

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Courtesy of Particle Technology Labs

Panicle size analysis is a vital analytical tool in the pharmaceutical industry. The results can be used to meet safety and quality specifications and provide information for product development and manufacturing. Modern techniques have made determining the particle size of a material quick and convenient, but many factors can influence the quality of data obtained.

While particle size analysis can provide great insight, it can be nearly meaningless if it is obtained improperly. A large number of resources are available from notable institutions such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), United States Pharmacopeia (USP), and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). These organizations provide standardized literature to help reduce common sources of error, improve accuracy, and increase reproducibility using various particle-sizing techniques. Errors observed in the generation of particle size data occur due to the selection of a technique inappropriate to the material type or through the use of poor sampling and dispersion techniques (i.e., sample preparation). In many cases, the end application in which the particle size will be used is not properly considered, thus the amount of dispersion needed is inadequate or overcompensated. While each source of error is equally important to address, only the aspects pertaining to achieving a well-dispersed system for solid in liquid particle size analysis are covered in this discussion.

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