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Home / Micro-CT for Pharmaceutical Applications: R&D, production, inspection, and failure analysis

Micro-CT for Pharmaceutical Applications: R&D, production, inspection, and failure analysis


Investigate coating, cracks, defects, and active ingredients in a pharmaceutical pill with micro-CT

Micro-CT examination of a pharmaceutical tablet

3D microscopy for pharmaceutical applications — small scale, high resolution

X-ray micro-CT (microtomography) is one of the most powerful methods for getting 3D insights into pharmaceutical products and devices. It is nondestructive, requiring minimal to no sample preparation, eliminating the tedious task of embedding, coating, or thin slicing. Explore further how you can bring the power of micro-CT into your pharmaceutical research, development, and product analysis.

Tablet development and ramp-up

Save Time and Money

Development of a new pharmaceutical product or process can be a time-consuming and costly endeavor. Micro-CT can accelerate time-to-market by providing immediate feedback on a product’s internal structure, identifying discrepancies between the expected result and the actual outcome. Micro-CT provides insight into key factors such as compressive force, vacuum strength, mixing ratio, and much more.

Tablet with front corner virtually made transparent, visualizing internal cracks in red
SKYSCAN 1272 – Voxel size 3 µm

Coating analysis of a pharmaceutical tablet

Coating analysis of a pharmaceutical tablet
SKYSCAN 1272 – Voxel size 3 µm


Pharmaceutical packaging and sealing

Ensure Product Integrity

Package and seal integrity for injectable drugs can be just as critical as the drug formulation itself. Poor seals can allow moisture to enter the container, changing the stability of the drug and causing a decrease in efficacy. In worst-case scenarios, the patient can be exposed to contaminants or microbes resulting in a major illness or fatality. Micro-CT can help recognize nonconforming packaging machines, discover supplier variation in components, and isolate problematic design issues.

Micro-CT of a glass pharmaceutical vial

Volume render of a glass vial with rubber seal and aluminum cap
SKYSCAN 1275 – Voxel size 10 µm

Inspection of pharmaceutical packaging assembly

Fast Nondestructive Inspection

When cutting your sample is not an option, micro-CT provides the solution. Designing and testing packaging assembly is a critical task to ensuring medicine can be delivered properly to the patient when it matters. Fast, nondestructive testing can you give confidence in your production process and the resulting product’s performance.

Micro-CT of an inhaler spray nozzle

Inhaler head
SKYSCAN 1275 – Voxel size 25 µm


Failure analysis

Looking Without Cutting

When failures occur, it can not only be costly, it can be deadly. Pinpointing the root cause of the failure is essential to safeguarding against it happening again. Typical failure analysis can involve serial sectioning the part to observe the microstructure, but this destroys the evidence and may prevent further testing – sometimes even inducing unwanted damage such as micro-cracking, which can be misleading to the investigation. Because micro-CT does not require the destruction of the sample, it can be used in combination with other analysis techniques for a more comprehensive investigation into the failure mechanism.

Micro-Ct of a syringe needle

Non-destructive analysis of a syringe needle
SKYSCAN 1275 – Voxel size 10 µm

Nondestructive testing at your fingertips

Bruker micro-CT, the pioneer of high-resolution micro-CT, has advanced this technology, from the R&D center to product development and quality control, with unparalleled speed and ease-of-use, all in small footprint desktop solutions.

Intuitive design features provide smart parameter selection, automated sample loading, and pushbutton scanning, allow high-throughput data collection with a touch of your finger.

Will micro-CT work for my application?  Request a FREE Micro-CT Evaluation Scan

We can help you determine if micro-CT is right for your research and guide you to the system best suited for your application. With over 50 years’ of collective experience, our micro-CT experts will select the best instrument for your sample, perform  a FREE evaluation scan in our Micro Photonics micro-CT laboratory, and reconstruct the data for a thorough investigation of your sample.

Request: FREE EVALUATION SCAN to see how micro-CT works with your application.

You will receive a comprehensive test report, cross-sectional images of your sample, and a copy of our visualization software for enhanced viewing in both 2D and 3D . . . explore within!

DOWNLOAD more information on the use of micro-CT for pharmaceutical applications.

 READ MORE on how micro-CT works and can support your pharmaceutical research.

Micro Photonics Inc. provides instruments, laboratory services, training, and support from micro-CT experts
to help research scientists meet their most complex laboratory demands.

More information: FREE BUYERS’ GUIDE

Request: FREE EVALUATION SCAN to see how micro-CT works with your application.

Contact: Benjamin Ache, Product Manager, Bruker Micro-CTs     P: 610-366-7103 ext 115.

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