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LDIR Chemical Imaging System

The QCL-based LDIR 8700 is a fast, intuitive and highly automated imaging system that combines complete solutions for various applications in the field of environment and pharmaceuticals as well as material analysis.

The LDIR 8700 for Microplastics Analysis:

Environmental researchers wish to measure the size, shape, and chemical identity of every plastic particle in a sample. Because smaller particles are thought to be the most biologically relevant, this analysis must extend to particles on the micron scale. Unfortunately, traditional techniques such as visual inspection are slow, manually intensive, and prone to operator bias. As a result, investigators have recently turned to chemically specific vibrational spectroscopy, which can be used in a microscope format for particle analysis at greater speeds.

Spectral microscopes acquire a spectrum guided by a visible-light image to determine a particle’s chemical identity along with its size and shape. Still, these instruments have drawbacks. Raman microscopes struggle to identify fluorescent particles, while array-based FTIR (Fourier transform infrared) microscopes generate a large number of spectra which are redundant or taken in the empty space between particles. Finally, the massive datasets generated by these microscopes introduce processing and storage challenges.

Since IR spectroscopy is a useful method for microplastics analysis, alternative methods of generating and focusing IR light on a sample may overcome some of these difficulties with existing techniques. A Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) is a tunable semiconductor laser than generates light in the mid-Infrared regions commonly known as the fingerprint region. Such a light source allows tight focusing of the bright infrared light at the precise center of each particle and this can facilitate rapid and accurate identification of micron-scale particles. In this presentation, we present results of studies using an Infrared spectrometer utilizing a Quantum Cascade Laser for the characterization and quantitation of microplastics.

The LDIR 8700 for Pharmaceuticals

During pharmaceutical solid dose formulation development, factors such as salt exchange, polymorphism, hydration, temperature, and pressure affect tablet dissolution, stability and even therapeutic efficacy. Molecular spectroscopy techniques such as Raman, FTIR and NIR imaging are often used to visualize the distribution of ingredients in solid dose (tablet) formulations. The resultant images are used to troubleshoot issues that may arise in production of the tablet or to support drug formulation. Unfortunately, these traditional spectroscopy techniques often require considerable time to obtain a detailed image as well as a high level of user expertise. This means chemical imaging of tablets is typically available only to expert spectroscopists.

The Agilent 8700 Laser Direct Infrared (LDIR) Chemical Imaging System is the first chemical imaging system that enables non-experts in infrared microscopy to get the data they need to support solid dosage form development and to ensure effective quality control.

The intuitive Agilent Clarity software and user interface of the 8700 LDIR simplifies and automates the numerous steps required to obtain a detailed, high resolution tablet image. The speed and resolution of the system enables tablets to be imaged far more rapidly and in greater detail than with conventional FTIR or Raman imaging. In addition, the 8700 LDIR is equally sensitive to both active pharmaceutical ingredients and excipients, without the problem of fluorescence that can hinder Raman imaging. The 8700 LDIR provides a faster and easier way to assess the effects of physiochemical properties on drug performance and formulation development.

Learn more about Laser Direct Infrared Imaging

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