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Proceedings Paper

Real-time data processing for in-line monitoring of a pharmaceutical coating process by optical coherence tomography
Author(s): Daniel Markl; Jakob Ziegler; Günther Hannesschläger; Stephan Sacher; Andreas Buchsbaum; Michael Leitner; Johannes G. Khinast
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Paper Abstract

Coating of tablets is a widely applied unit operation in the pharmaceutical industry. Thickness and uniformity of the coating layer are crucial for efficacy as well as for compliance. Not only due to different initiatives it is thus essential to monitor and control the coating process in-line. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) was already shown in previous works to be a suitable candidate for in-line monitoring of coating processes. However, to utilize the full potential of the OCT technology an automatic evaluation of the OCT measurements is essential. The automatic evaluation is currently implemented in MATLAB and includes several steps: (1) extraction of features of each A-scan, (2) classification of Ascan measurements based on their features, (3) detection of interfaces (air/coating and coating/tablet core), (4) correction of distortions due to the curvature of the bi-convex tablets and the oblique orientation of the tablets, and (5) determining the coating thickness. The algorithm is tested on OCT data acquired by moving the sensor head of the OCT system across a static tablet bed. The coating thickness variations of single tablets (i.e., intra-tablet coating variability) can additionally be analyzed as OCT allows the measurement of the coating thickness on multiple displaced positions on one single tablet. Specifically, the information about those parameters emphasizes the high capability of the OCT technology to improve process understanding and to assure a high product quality.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 May 2014
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 9129, Biophotonics: Photonic Solutions for Better Health Care IV, 91290M (8 May 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2051138
Show Author Affiliations
Daniel Markl, Research Ctr. Pharmaceutical Engineering GmbH (Austria)
Jakob Ziegler, Research Ctr. Pharmaceutical Engineering GmbH (Austria)
Günther Hannesschläger, RECENDT GmbH (Austria)
Stephan Sacher, Research Ctr. Pharmaceutical Engineering GmbH (Austria)
Andreas Buchsbaum, Research Ctr. for Non-Destructive Testing GmbH (Austria)
Michael Leitner, Research Ctr. for Non-Destructive Testing GmbH (Austria)
Johannes G. Khinast, Research Ctr. Pharmaceutical Engineering GmbH (Austria)
Graz Univ. of Technology (Austria)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9129:
Biophotonics: Photonic Solutions for Better Health Care IV
Jürgen Popp; Valery V. Tuchin; Dennis L. Matthews; Francesco Saverio Pavone; Paul Garside, Editor(s)

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