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New UT Arlington research could improve pharmaceuticals testing

New UT Arlington research could improve pharmaceuticals testing

    Posted by UT System

    on Monday, May 5, 2014

A University of Texas at 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. 

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