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Scientists Find Cheaper Water Quantifying Methods In Pharmaceutical Drugs

Aug 02, 2016 03:43 AM EDT

The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) chemists have found cheaper ways to determine the amount of water in solid pharmaceutical drugs.

The discovery is cheaper, faster, more precise, and more accurate than Karl Fischer titration, Science Daily has learned. As per the publication, the latter method is presently recognized by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

In a statement, as cited by the publication, Chemistry chair and project leader Daniel Armstrong said that every therapeutic drug had a narrow range of optimal water content, which needed to be controlled to prevent potential adverse effects on patients.

According to Armstrong, the new system could also be automated, which reduced labor costs for manufacturers with potential economic benefits for consumers, in addition to its other beneficial features like speed and lower costs.

Armstrong's project was published in the "Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences" on "Water Determination in Solid Pharmaceutical Products using Ionic Liquids and Headspace Gas Chromatography."

According to Phys, Armstrong and his graduate assistant used a headspace gas chromatography analytical method with ionic liquid tubular capillary gas chromatographic columns, along with the latest and highly water sensitive instrument, the Shimadzu Scientific Instruments Tracera GC-210, as their detector.

In the project, the researchers compared the effectiveness and accuracy of the new method against two orthodox methods, Fischer's titration and the "loss on drying" method, which involves sample placement in a vacuum over for many hours to gauge the amount of water.

The study findings revealed that Fischer's titration yielded inaccurate results in several pharmaceutical drug samples like acetaminophen, vitamin C, and Excedrine Migraine medicine. Conversely, loss on drying took several hours to finish while Armstrong's method could perform sample analysis for ten minutes.

As a leader in ionic liquid characterization and synthesis, Armstrong has also received several awards, such as ACS Fellow in 2013 and the American Chemical Society Award in Separations Science and Technology in 2014. As per "The Analytical Scientist," the scientist was eighth in the Power List 2015 of the Top 100 most influential people in the world.

Meanwhile, watch Karl Fischer Titration here.

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