New Pharmaceutical Metal Lab Opens

RSSL has unveiled the latest stage of its recent expansion with the opening of its new metals laboratory, and signing of a laboratory partnership agreement with Agilent.

The new laboratory is bigger and better equipped, meaning that RSSL will be able to provide a better service in routine metals testing for the pharmaceutical industry. Metals are of concern due to their presence in mined excipients (titanium dioxide), biological tissues, their use as catalysts, and their presence in production equipment (reactors, pipes etc).

Strict rules apply over legal limits for metal contamination in pharmaceuticals, and the challenge is to find the best, most accurate, reliable and cost-effective methods of analysis. RSSL's investment is geared up to the pending implementation of Chapter <232> and Chapter <233> of the USP, and the existing European Pharmacopoeia Chapters 2.4.20 and 5.20, which deal with the analysis of heavy metals by modern spectroscopic methods.

Hence, new equipment has been added to enhance RSSL's current capabilities, and to address upcoming commercial challenges. The new equipment includes ICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma mass-spectrometry), ICP-OES (inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy), AAS (atomic absorption spectrometry), and MP-AES (microwave plasma-atomic emission spectrometry). These four complementary technologies give RSSL options to quantify trace metal contamination in all kinds of matrices, with accuracy and efficiency not possible by wet-chemistry methods. The pending changes to the USP for heavy metals testing referred to above mean that spectroscopic methods are set to replace wet-chemistry methods in the vast majority of cases and RSSL is now supremely well placed to carry out heavy metals testing for the international pharmaceutical/healthcare industry.

As Agilent's sole partner laboratory in the UK for atomic spectroscopy, RSSL will also be established as the premiere site for developing new techniques and applications for Agilent's technologies, benefiting from Agilent's support and expertise, and offering a demonstration site for Agilent equipment.

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