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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Modular Solutions for Low Resolution

Nick Barnett of Ocean Optics discusses how modular Raman spectroscopy can be used in the measurement of pharmaceutical active ingredients and excipients

Raman spectroscopy is an extremely useful technique for chemical analysis. Raman measurements are non-destructive, require very limited sample preparation and allow for sample volumes in the microlitre range. Raman techniques can even be used to acquire data through vial walls, pill pack windows and bags – packaging forms that are frequently used in the biomedical and pharmaceutical industries.

In recent years, low resolution Raman spectroscopy (LRRS) has gained increased attention and acceptance in the analytical laboratory as an affordable, robust and convenient alternative to cumbersome wet chemical analysis or expensive FT-Raman and FT-IR spectrometers. Unlike high-resolution Raman spectrometers that are often capable of resolving peaks of less than three or four wave numbers apart, the new miniaturised systems relinquish resolution in favour of emphasising basic identifying spectral features, or fingerprints, that are often distinct and clearly separated. Recent advances allow some of the high-end LRRS systems to compete around the four cm-1 resolution.


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Nick Barnett is the Country Manager for the UK and Ireland at Ocean Optics. He has an MSc in Optoelectronics and Laser Devices and a PhD in Biomedical Optics. Nick has previously worked in various R&D roles working on optical sensors, laser Doppler and NIR spectroscopy. He has been working for Ocean Optics for five years where his responsibilities include full business development, sales and technical support.
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