IST patents low-cost NIR spectrometer for pharma

IST logoMassachusetts-based Innovative Science Tools (IST) has been awarded a second US patent on a handheld near-infrared (NIR) spectrometer that promises to be smaller and cheaper than rival devices.

The new patent (No. 9,297,749) describes an NIR transmission spectroscopy unit that can identify solid and liquid materials, including drug tablets and capsules and liquid medications. IST has previously been awarded a similar patent (No. 8,859,969) for a device that uses reflectance spectroscopy.

At the heart of the device is a proprietary LED-based light source and other components that provide significant advantages over existing portable spectroscopic analysers known for use with drug or other material identification.

That includes lower manufacturing cost, smaller size, lower power consumption, shorter data collection time, the ability to measure all the way through drug tablets or capsules and a more mechanically robust and longer lived light source.

While handheld spectrometers can cost tens of thousands of dollars, ITS' device - which is still in the prototype phase - can be comparably priced to a wet chemical test kit developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) that costs around $5,000.

The unit has major advantages over wet testing, however, including an analysis time of about 10 to 15 seconds, and no required reagents or sample preparation.

Optical analyzer for identification of materials using transmission spectroscopy

Abstract: A device and method for identifying solid and liquid materials use near-infrared transmission spectroscopy combined with multivariate calibration methods for analysis of the spectral data. Near-infrared transmission spectroscopy is employed within either the 700-1100 nm or the 900-1700 nm wavelength range to identify solid or liquid materials and determine whether they match specific known materials. Uses include identifying solid (including powdered) and liquid materials with a fast measurement cycle time of about 2 to 15 seconds and with a method that requires no sample preparation, as well as quantitative analysis to determine the concentration of one or more chemical components in a solid or liquid sample that consists of a mixture of components. A primary application of such analysis includes detection of counterfeit drug tablets, capsules and liquid medications.
Patent No. 9,297,749

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