The identification of contaminants is the third area in which microscopy makes a major impact on pharmaceutical development. Interestingly, it may be the least published field in pharmaceutical microscopy and yet there are many high profile cases of particulate contamination and the resultant product recalls. The rapid identification of contaminants is critical to development and manufacturing success. The microscopist may not be able to solve the entire problem in the sense that he or she can point a finger at the exact source of failure and contamination, but the microscopist nearly always can point the industrial engineers in the right direction. In some cases, it may be as important to know what the contaminant is not as what it is.
KeywordsPlacebo Sugar Combustion Cellulose Starch
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