• inverse gas chromatography;
  • pharmaceutical powders;
  • surface energy


The behavior of pharmaceutical solids, during either processing or use, can be noticeably affected by the surface energetics of the constituent particles. Several techniques exist to measure the surface energy, for example, sessile drop, and dynamic contact angle measurements. Inverse gas chromatography (IGC) is an alternative technique where the powder surface is characterized by the retention behavior of minute quantities of well-characterized vapors that are injected into a column containing the material of interest. Recently published articles using IGC on pharmaceutical powders have ranged from linking surface energetic data with triboelectric charging to studying the effect of surface moisture on surface energetics. Molecular modelling has also recently been used to explore the links between IGC data and the structural and chemical factors that influence surface properties, thereby achieving predictive knowledge regarding powder behavior during processing. In this minireview, the reported applications of IGC in the analysis of pharmaceutical powders are summarized and the major findings highlighted. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc. and the American Pharmaceutical Association J Pharm Sci 91:571–583, 2002