Raman mapping of pharmaceuticals
Raman spectroscopy may be implemented through a microscope to provide fine scale axial and lateral chemical maps. The molecular structure of many drugs makes Raman spectroscopy particularly well suited to the investigation of pharmaceutical systems. Chemometric methods currently used to assess bulk Raman spectroscopic data are typically applied to Raman mapping data from pharmaceuticals; few reports exist where the spatial information inherent to a mapped dataset is used for the calculation of chemical maps. Both univariate and multivariate methods have been applied to Raman mapping data to determine the distribution of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in tablets, solid dispersions for increased solubility and controlled release devices. The ability to axially (depth) profile using Raman mapping has been used in studies of API penetration through membranes, cellular uptake of drug delivery liposomes, and initial API distribution and subsequent elution from coatings of medical devices. New instrumental developments will increase the efficiency of Raman mapping and lead to greater utilisation of Raman mapping for analyses of pharmaceutical systems. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.