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Keywords:

  • terahertz pulsed imaging;
  • active coating;
  • deconvolution;
  • absorption coefficient;
  • coating thickness;
  • refractive index;
  • imaging methods;
  • crystallinity;
  • osmotic pumps;
  • solid dosage form

Abstract

The present work gives an insight into some key measurement and signal processing considerations in terahertz pulsed imaging (TPI). TPI is increasingly used for the measurement of the spatial variation of coating thickness on coated solid dosage forms. The potential of TPI for the assessment of coating thickness distributions and the use in process development is described in recent literature. However, some critical factors need to be taken into account when working with this technique. These are (1) the signal processing of the raw data, (2) the influence of the composition of the sample matrix on the TPI signals and subsequent coating analysis, (3) signal distortions that can occur at tablet edges or areas with defects, and (4) the refractive index as a key parameter in the quantification of layer thickness. In this paper, we will highlight to what extent these factors impact on the qualitative and quantitative analysis of TPI data and how artifacts and misinterpretation of data can be avoided to ensure fully quantitative and robust measurements. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. and the American Pharmacists Association J Pharm Sci 102:1813–1824, 2013