dispatches from technopharm

Malvern launches imaging tool for its laser diffraction tech

By Dan Stanton contact

- Last updated on GMT

Laser diffraction a key pharma tool
Laser diffraction a key pharma tool
A laser diffraction imaging tool could be used by quality controllers to help measure particle size in a suspension according to Malvern Instruments.

The UK-based technology firm has been showcasing its new accessory range for its Mastersizer 3000 laser diffraction particle size analyzer at POWTECH in Nuremberg, Germany this week, and according to Deborah Huck-Jones - product manager of analytical imaging systems – the tools have a number of pharma applications, ranging from R&D to quality control.

The Hydro Sight product is an imaging accessory which drugmakers and developers can use to cross validate the laser diffraction data, she told in-Pharmatechnologist.com, in order to see what is happening in a dispersion.

“This tool will be used by the people who are developing and validating their methods to show that it is a robust method,”​ she said, though “it will also be used for people in QC because if they get something that’s out of spec - some large particles or something different - then it is important to know what it is.”

Dispersion is essential to ensure that particles are measured in a representative, relevant state and traditional methods include separating particles by using different size sieves. This “is very quick but not so robust and not as easy to get a full data set,” ​Huck-Jones said, adding it is much more of a manual process.

“Sieving is still used as well as an early indicator but very much laser defraction is used in a day to day analysis.”

Recent Acquisitions

In related news, Malvern has acquired the Archimedes particle characterisation system from California-based Affinity Biosensors, following two years of working with the firm.

The system is used to detect and count particles using the Resonant Mass Measurement technique and, according to the firm, is key for measuring protein aggregation in biotherapeutic formulations, speeding up development and improving drug safety and efficacy.

The deal comes just weeks after Malvern completed its purchase of GE Healthcare Life Sciences’ MicroCal business. These microcalorimeters provide detailed information on structure, function and properties of a wide range of biomolecules – including proteins, lipids and nucleic acids - which Malvern told us in June​ is an area of increasing demand.

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