Here at Malvern Instruments, October’s inaugural Particle Summit was a major event. Quite a few of us attended and it proved to be a great opportunity to share experience in the field of particle and molecular characterization. Hopefully it will become established as a forum for education and networking,  that will help us all in our common endeavor to make best use of the material characterization techniques we’re engaged in using.

Held in Boston, Massachusetts on October 20th and 21st – prime leaf peeping season! – the summit also included a practical and well-attended pre-conference session for anyone new to the field of material characterization.

Who spoke?

Very pleasingly, everyone spoke – to one another at any rate! More formally, a stimulating mix of speakers from industry and academia, as well as experts from Malvern, gave diverse and informative presentations throughout the two days. A round up of all the highlights will be available soon, so watch this space.

The inaugural key note speaker was Dr Neil Lewis. Neil is a multi-award winning analytical scientist, who founded Spectral Dimensions, the company that developed the near infrared chemical imaging systems that have become part of Malvern’s range. Now Malvern’s Chief Technology Officer, Neil spoke with authority and experience and held everyone’s attention with:  ‘New particle’ characterization challenges – physico chemical measurement needs for emerging industries.’

From my perspective, Neil’s talk highlighted several key topics, which held everyone’s attention during the talk. First, he discussed the capabilities of near infrared chemical identification (NIR-CI) for looking at the structure of tablets and for detecting counterfeits – a key theme in pharma at the moment! He then moved on to introduce a new technology for Malvern, which combines the use of morphological imaging (using microscopy) and Raman spectroscopy for component identification within powder mixtures. As a person with a keen interest in the development of inhalation devices, this new method for using Raman spectroscopy is very interesting, especially when it comes to studying combination products. It could allow the structure of powder to be better understood, both before and after dispersion, and may aid with understanding the synergistic effect associated with delivering two components at the same time.

If you’re interested in learning more about combined imaging and Raman measurements, I can recommend the following (which require a log in!):

  • G3 ID early access program intro
  • Raman G3 ID for forensic science

Personally, I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the system in Malvern’s lab soon!