Daniel W. Armstrong, a UT Arlington chemistry professor, is developing a more effective means of measuring the water content in pharmaceutical products. “The analysis for water in many consumer products, including drugs, is one of the most required tests done in the world,” said Armstrong.
Known for his expertise in researching chemical separations, Armstrong says that his new technique could be 100 times more sensitive than most of the popular methods used in laboratories at the moment. “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,” he added.
In June, the Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis will publish an article about this new research, describing how Armstrong’s lab developed new methods to measure moisture content in active pharmaceutical ingredients such as ephedrine, ibuprofen, and tetracycline. According to the article, the stability and shelf life of a drug can be affected by water, and if the presence of it is too high, it can cause microbial growth.
Armstrong’s method combines Headspace gas chromatography (HSGC) with ionic liquids that mixes positive and negative charged molecules, which have benefits as solvents. To the researcher and his team, the method will be more useful on more types of drug ingredients, and more sensitive than the two current methods, LOD and Karl Fischer Titration (KFT), respectively.
“We think industry will utilize this method based on its broad applicability, its high accuracy, and the sample size requirements,” state the researchers.
Armstrong has published more than 550 scientific publications and holds 23 national and international patents.