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New UT Arlington research could improve pharmaceuticals testing
Date:4/30/2014

A UT Arlington chemistry professor, renowned for his work in the area of chemical separations, is leading an effort to find a more accurate way to measure water content in pharmaceuticals a major quality issue for drug manufacturers.

Daniel W. Armstrong, UT Arlington's Robert A. Welch Chair in Chemistry, says the new technique could be 100 times more sensitive than one of the most popular current methods.

"The analysis for water in many consumer products, including drugs, is one of the most required tests done in the world," said Armstrong. "Current methods have many shortcomings, including poor sensitivity and reproducibility; they cannot be used for all products and they can be time consuming. I believe our new 'ionic liquid' method offers improvements in all these areas."

Armstrong and two graduate students recently wrote about their new research in a paper that will be in the June issue of the Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. The publication describes using headspace gas chromatography and an ionic liquid gas chromatography column Armstrong's lab developed to measure moisture content in active pharmaceutical ingredients such as ibuprofen, tetracycline and ephedrine. Water content can affect the stability and shelf life of a drug and, when it is too high, cause microbial growth, according to the paper.

Chromatography is the process of separating a chemical mixture to measure its components. Headspace gas chromatography, or HSGC, involves the measuring of volatile analytes, or chemical components, as they diffuse into a "headspace" at the top of a tube of sample, including solids. The new method combines HSGC with the use of ionic liquids. Ionic liquids consist of a mixture of positively and negatively charged molecules. They have a variety of advantages as solvents.

Currently, two methods are most commonly used to measure moisture content. One is called weight loss on drying, or LOD; the other is called Karl F
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Contact: Traci Peterson
tpeterso@uta.edu
817-521-5494
University of Texas at Arlington
Source:Eurekalert

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