Shelf-life and flow studies boosted at RSSL

Published: 14-Jun-2013

New technologies include dispersion analyser, vapour sorption system, upgraded rheometer

New investment in its Physical Sciences department means RSSL can now offer enhanced services in shelf-life/stability testing and in analysing the flow properties of a range of materials.

Key among the new technologies now available at RSSL are a LUMiSizer Dispersion Analyser, a third DVS (Dynamic Vapour Sorption) system, and an upgrade to RSSL's TA Instruments ARES G2 Rheometer.

The LUMiSizer Dispersion Analyser is an instrument that combines a near infra-red (NIR) probe with an analytical centrifuge. It can be used to investigate separation and sedimentation phenomena in suspensions and/or emulsions. Twelve samples can be analysed in one session, generating data to calculate and predict suspension or emulsion shelf life.

Furthermore, rather than having to perform visual observations over several months in traditional static ICH stability testing or by performing basic centrifugation techniques, the LUMISizer can generate shelf life-like data at a significantly faster rate. Particle size data can also be generated based upon the rate of sedimentation of a product.

RSSL's Physical Sciences department now possesses three DVS systems. These are gravimetric instruments used to quantify at which temperature/relative humidity combinations moisture is absorbed or released, understanding their hysteresis is key.

Materials such as excipients, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), food products or ingredients may be tested by applying controlled temperature and humidity profiles, thus enabling the accurate measurement of weight changes caused by absorption or desorption. The data generated using this analytical tool can assist in informing storage and packaging requirements for the material in question.

The upgraded components for RSSL's ARES-G2 rheometer will enhance capabilities in research and material development/assessment. The addition of a forced convection oven (FCO) and liquid nitrogen cooling system means RSSL can offer highly controlled, precise and accurate rheological measurements over wider shear-rate and temperature ranges. The FCO also ensures that the temperature is homogeneous throughout the test sample by completely enveloping the sample and spindles whereas more basic rheometers tend to only heat/cool from the base of the sample.

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