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Morphologi: a technological evolution

7 February 2018 No Comment

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A week today, we will be excitedly preparing for the launch of the brand new Morphologi® 4 and Morphologi 4-ID! As we approach the next exciting chapter in Morphologi’s evolution, I’ve been looking back at just how far this instrument has come over the years.

Malvern Panalytical’s first foray into static morphological imaging was our acquisition of the Pharma Vision 830 in late 2003.  This system worked by using a linear actuator to automatically move the camera across the sample tray as it took digitized video images. At the time, it was revolutionary to be able to analyze particle shape in a routine, automated way, rather than needing an analyst to look down a microscope.

P1_P2_PVS830

Malvern Instruments, as our company was then known, began to make our mark on the system, changing the approach to keep the optics stationary and instead move the sample…and the Morphologi G2 was born in 2005. This is where I came into the picture, since on December 12th, 2005, I became product technical specialist for the imaging portfolio! I immediately loved getting to know the instrument and its users – it was so interesting to find why people needed to characterize particles in such detail! Previously, I’d never thought too much about what affected dissolution, flowability or packing behavior. Now, of course, I understand that these things affect our everyday life – from our first morning cup of coffee to the toothpaste we use just before we head to bed.

Morphologi G2

What became clear from our interactions with customers was that it was great to have a sophisticated system for particle characterization, but we also needed to provide an integrated method of dispersing the dry powder samples to enable reliable results – we all know that a badly dispersed sample leads to questionable results!  Our development team delivered exactly this, and in 2007, we were delighted to launch the Morphologi G3.

Morphologi G3

I can hardly believe that was more than 10 years ago! Since that launch, we have continued to develop the capabilities of the system, in order to automate other applications typically carried out by manual microscopy, such as foreign particle analysis and measurement of suspended samples. It was great to be at the interface between the development team and our customers, witnessing our customers’ problems being solved by the addition of accessories or software enhancements.

We would often hear how helpful morphological imaging was for single component materials, but then we started to receive questions about blends: was it possible to find out all this morphological information about the individual components in a mixture?

Particle shape

In 2012, we solved this longstanding challenge with the launch of the Morphologi G3-ID, the first of our instruments to provide MDRS®

Having worked with the analytical imaging portfolio for over 9 years, I was delighted to take the opportunity to become product manager for the product line in 2014.  This role has allowed me to work even more closely with our development team and our customers in defining the evolution of the Morphologi range.

It is therefore with absolute delight and pride that I will be presenting the live launch of the next generation of Morphologi instruments on February 14th, 2018.  Please join me by registering at www.malvern.com/M4launch.