Research in the medicine and technological fields have continued to improve for years. We are closer to understanding more medical conditions than ever. We are closer to diagnosing quicker and curing diseases that are currently incurable. These abilities have come from particle size analysis and nanotechnology. Nanotechnology allows us to see particles and molecules much smaller than the human eye?s ability. The smaller the particles and characteristics that are able to see, the more that we are able to understand.
There are many different methods available when it comes to small particle size analysis. However, a few are most commonly used in today?s medical and scientific industries. Laser diffraction has become one of the most commonly used particle sizing methods, especially for particles in the range of 0.5 to 1000 microns. It works on the principle that when a beam of light (a laser) is scattered by a group of particles, the angle of light scattering is inversely proportional to particle size (i.e. the smaller the particle size, the larger the angle of light scattering). This newer method is important in analytical development definition terms.
Nanotechnology sizing trends
Standard laser diffraction equipment can be used for particles in the size range from about 400 nm up to a few millimeters. For newer equipment, the size range is often extended down to the lower nanometer range by combining laser diffraction with other techniques, such as measurement of scattering intensities in different directions. These minor changes and exchanges of tools are what result in advancements in nanotechnology and BET analysis. Over the next couple of years, it is estimated that the ability to see even smaller of particles are what really will advance us even further in science and research.
Nanotechnology and pharmaceuticals
There is no question that nanotechnology is important to diagnosis and the further advancement of research and science. However, nanotechnology and analytical testing laboratory services may also be important to improving current pharmaceuticals. The medical industry is already advanced beyond what was ever expected with the existence of current medications. We currently have medications to treat all types of symptoms and disorders and every day, we are increasing those options.
For the drug substance, the International Conference on Harmonization (ICH) guideline Q6A provides guidance on when a particle size specification should be considered. In summary, a particle size specification is required if the particle size of the drug substance is critical to drug product performance (i.e. dissolution, solubility, bioavailability, content uniformity, stability, or product appeal). The laser diffraction testing can also improve current pharmaceuticals to be more effective. When things like size and its break down pattern affect the goal of the medication, nanotechnology can improve these factors.
Greater testing accuracy
Newer and more improved drugs are constantly being worked on. However, it is important that all safety factors are considered during the initial testing. If they were not, those who need the medications would be the ones learning of the negative side effects. The greater ability of nanotechnology allows for better testing and better accuracy. Not only can those using nanotechnology closely examine the contents of the pharmaceuticals, but they can also closely examine their effect on the subject. The hope is that any negative side effects are ruled out prematurely and that a highly beneficial and accurate substance is released.
If you go back and read research and medicine textbooks that are from even a decade ago, you will notice areas of improvement that have since occurred. The medical field is advancing daily and we are not only finding better treatments and cures for current problems, but we are also advancing the way that we do research. Nanotechnology allows researchers to see the smallest of particles. This helps with identifying problematic molecules and then correcting them. As nanotechnology continues to improve, we will have the ability to see even smaller of details. These smaller of details will continue to expand the medical and research fields.