Raman spectroscopy is a form of molecular spectroscopy that yields the chemical fingerprint of measured samples. These unique signatures are used to identify and characterize samples with high reliability at the molecular level. As a benchtop solution, it is one of the class-leading spectroscopic methods in a range of fields, but many manufacturers and suppliers have become increasingly aware of the limitations of traditional laboratory testing. Consequently, a range of unique spectroscopy solutions has been developed to meet a variety of industry-specific challenges. Handheld Raman spectroscopy is one such solution.
What is Handheld Raman Spectroscopy?
Handheld Raman spectroscopy was designed to satisfy the needs of the pharmaceutical industry at multiple touchpoints along the manufacturing chain. Unlike conventional Raman spectrometers, there is no need to transfer samples to off-site facilities for testing. A handheld Raman spectrometer allows for fully portable testing with an ergonomic design and a simple point-and-shoot format. This provides rapid responses for pass/fail testing or unknown characterization against integrated digital libraries and pre-existing method data.
There are many benefits of using handheld Raman spectroscopy for raw materials identification (RMID) and screening in the pharmaceutical sector. Here we will outline just a few of them.
Full Portability: Rapid Response Throughout the Production Chain
Handheld Raman spectroscopy is a fully-portable solution for material screening wherever you need it, from the loading dock to the dispensary. With a small-form ergonomic design, they can be easily carried and operated by inexperienced personnel to acquire the molecular fingerprint of raw materials in situ for faster pharmaceutical screening than ever before. This provides various peripheral benefits, from space savings to the elimination of mandatory – and time-consuming – wet chemistry. With the added advantage of being able to test samples through various forms of packaging, handheld Raman spectroscopy is also positioned to meet the uniquely stringent quality control (QC) standards of pharmaceutical RMID.
Cost Efficiency: Value-Added Savings
The next overarching benefit of using handheld Raman spectroscopy is associated with cost. There are many ways that switching from a laboratory-based testing solution to a handheld system can add value to your processing chain. Handheld Raman spectrometers can be operated by non-expert technicians which liberate senior members of staff from the labor-intensive task of RMID. The speed of operation also poses significant improvements to both workflow and production throughput, accelerating essential QC process without compromising on the mandatory standards required by international regulators.
Versatility: Fully-Flexible Material Screening
The final benefit that we will explore is the sheer versatility of handheld Raman spectroscopy. With a choice of accessories available, most handheld systems provide operators with a range of options when it comes to testing methodologies. The point-and-shoot principle is one example of this, enabling samples to be aligned with the optics of the attachment and measured against existing data at the push of a button. This attachment can usually be swapped out for alternative modules (i.e. vial holders, bottle adapters, etc.).
Handheld Raman Spectroscopy from B&W Tek
B&W Tek provides a range of handheld Raman spectroscopy solutions for rapid material screening and RMID in the pharmaceutical sector. Our product range includes a choice of systems optimized for unique challenges in the industry.