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Anal Chem. 2018 Jun 5;90(11):6893-6898. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.8b01112. Epub 2018 May 14.

Triboluminescence from Pharmaceutical Formulations.

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Department of Chemistry , Purdue University , 560 Oval Drive , West Lafayette Indiana 47906 , United States.
Dr. Reddy's Laboratory , IPDO , Bachupally Campus, Hyderabad , Telengana , 500090 , India.
MRL , Merck & Co., Inc. , Kenilworth , New Jersey 07033 , United States.


Triboluminescence (TL) is shown to enable selective detection of trace crystallinity within nominally amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs). ASDs are increasingly used for the preparation of pharmaceutical formulations, the physical stability of which can be negatively impacted by trace crystallinity introduced during manufacturing or storage. In the present study, TL measurements of a model ASD consisting of griseofulvin in polyethylene glycol produced limits of detection of 140 ppm. Separate studies of the particle size dependence of sucrose crystals and the dependence on polymorphism in clopidogrel bisulfate particles are both consistent with a mechanism for TL closely linked to the piezoelectric response of the crystalline fraction. Whereas disordered polymeric materials cannot support piezoelectric activity, molecular crystals produced from homochiral molecules adopt crystal structures that are overwhelmingly symmetry-allowed for piezoelectricity. Consequently, TL may provide a broadly applicable and simple experimental route for sensitive detection of trace crystallinity within nominally amorphous materials.

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