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Pharmaceutical Microscopy (1203)


Course schedule: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Thursday, and 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Friday.

This course focuses on two major problems in the pharmaceutical industry: identification of particle contamination and characterization of the solid state.

Students learn to recognize common contaminants and to effectively characterize unknown materials so that they can be readily recognized and compared with candidate sources of contamination. Problems involving polymorphism, compatibility, and hydrates are examined using polarized light microscopy, solubility, recrystallization, and hotstage/fusion methods.

There is no prerequisite for this course, and it satisfies the same prerequisites as course #1201.

Day 1
• Proper use of the polarized microscope, Köhler illumination, calibration of the ocular micrometer.
• Physical optics, reflection, Snell’s law, mirrors, refraction, indices, dispersion, prisms, lenses, image formation, magnifiers, aberrations.
• Crystal morphology — crystal axes, lattice forms, systems.
• Crystal growth — from vapor, from solution by evaporation, by cooling and from melt

Day 2
• Microchemical analysis and testing
• Crystal optics, one polar, refractive index [solids versus liquids, dn/dt, dn/d?, dn/dz (where z = atomic number)], refractive indices of isotropic and anisotropic substances
• Dispersion staining

Day 3
• Birefringence, compensators, Michel-Lévy chart, interference figures
• Identification of single particles (parenteral contaminants, etc.)

Day 4
• Fusion methods (one-component systems): melting points, chemical stability, polymorphism, liquid crystals, identification methods
• Fusion methods (two-component systems): composition diagrams, purity, purification methods, analysis of binary mixtures

Day 5
• Photomicrography
• Special methods in microscopy: microchemical tests, micro miniaturized tests, crystal optics, solubility, density, melting point, FT-IR, elemental analysis (microprobes) electron microscopes, X-ray diffraction, fluorescence, phase, interference and modulation contrast
• Case histories as examples of polarized light microscopy: general discussion, literature, books, societies: microscopy lab design, choice of microscope accessories; discussion of students’ problems and questions.