Optical microscopy as a comparative analytical technique for single-particle dissolution studies

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Novel, simple and cost effective methods are needed to replace advanced chemical analytical techniques, in small-scale dissolution studies. Optical microscopy of individual particles could provide such a method. The aim of the present work was to investigate and verify the applicability of optical microscopy as an analytical technique for drug dissolution studies. The evaluation was performed by comparing image and chemical analysis data of individual dissolving particles. It was shown that the data obtained by image analysis and UV-spectrophotometry produced practically identical dissolution curves, with average similarity and difference factors above 82 and below 4, respectively. The relative standard deviation for image analysis data, of the studied particle size range, varied between 1.9% and 3.8%. Consequently, it is proposed that image analysis can be used, on its own, as a viable analytical technique in single-particle dissolution studies. The possibility for significant reductions in sample preparation, operational cost, time and substance consumption gives optical detection a clear advantage over chemical analytical methods. Thus, image analysis could be an ideal and universal analytical technique for rapid small-scale dissolution studies.

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