Trend report for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries

Instrumental Analysis – Innovation Driver in Research

There is no doubt that analysis sets the pace in chemical-pharmaceutical research. The research results are essentially determined by the detection capabilities of the analysis. This applies to product quality as well as to purity and authenticity controls. Novel technologies and functionalities with higher selectivity and more sensitive detection methods in the laboratory open up previously unimagined possibilities and innovation potentials in many areas. Analytical research is considered an important interdisciplinary technology in the industry and a guarantor of economic success.

In industry, services, or academia, analysis results define the quality of products as well as of contractual and research services. Whether in high-end analysis or in routine – powerful analytical methods set the benchmark. Classical analysis methods such as elemental analysis, electrophoresis, and thin-layer, gas and liquid chromatography, as well as high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and the entire range of spectroscopy and spectrometry are used. A wide variety of coupling techniques and multidimensional separation methods enable analysts to achieve ever-lower detection limits and new detection possibilities. Not infrequently, this opens up new vistas in research and development. Here, tailor-made, fast, reliable, and highly automated analysis solutions are often the key to success. In spite of all the complex interrelations, the complete analysis from sampling through preparation to performance and evaluation of the test should nevertheless be as easy as possible. After all, the researcher should be able to focus fully on his or her actual research tasks.

The handling of chemical products requires reliable information about their composition, properties, and effects. Proper, safe, and economically viable analysis is therefore indispensable in the applications for the chemical industry. The combination of high-performance methods such as HPLC/UPLC and ESI/APCI-MS/MS is used for the structure elucidation of unknown substances and impurities, as well as for quantification of ultra-trace substances. For the structure determination of unknown compounds, high-resolution mass spectrometry has become generally accepted. Due to the high mass accuracy and resolution, it allows determination of the molecular formulas of the compounds.

The application range of analysis is broad and diverse: from contractual and as-a-service analysis, from purity to ultra-trace analysis, from food and water analysis to environmental monitoring, from analysis of active substances to release analysis, from bioanalysis to clinical analysis, from raw to construction material analysis. The latest developments in instrumental analysis are driving the expertise. Compliance with industry-specific validation guidelines and common legislations such as GMP, GLP, and REACH, as well as with the FDA requirements, is the standard in the industrial laboratory.

Trends and topics

Of course, automation concepts, new networking options, and new user interfaces in the software with smart mode are absolutely trendy. Maximum flexibility and simplest handling with effective reduction of the working steps in the sense of holistic process optimization are in the focus of interest here. In the intelligent laboratory of the future, analyzers and measuring devices, sensors, processes and data are networked with each other. Automation and laboratory information management systems regulate and control this network. Such integration requires appropriate interfaces in terms of hardware, electronics, and software. The devices must be able to communicate with one another via suitable network accesses and drivers for integrated laboratory automation systems. With the requirement of permanent availability, for example with regard to remote control and remote maintenance, automation and needs-based networking solutions become indispensable.

Life Sciences

Particularly in the life sciences, screening methods have become indispensable today. Novel automation concepts, miniaturized assays, imaging techniques, fluorescence and particle measurements down to the nanoscale have a firm place in modern laboratories. In addition to drug analysis proper, these technologies have established themselves primarily in pharmaceutical research and quality control. The successes in the synthesis of new drugs and active agents, or in promising treatments and gene therapies in personalized medicine, depend significantly on the power of bioanalytical methods. Next-generation technologies give new impetus to the deciphering of biosyntheses and the research into novel drugs and functional processes. In the field of biotesting, arrays for transcriptomics and proteomics make essential contributions to the development of substances for use in smart implants.

Materials research

The rapid developments in materials research would not be possible without the pioneering instrumentation in the laboratory either. Dynamic-mechanical testers allow force ranges that cannot be achieved with conventional laboratory equipment. Extreme heating and cooling rates in so-called fast scanning calorimetry contribute significantly to the understanding of structural properties and processing possibilities of new materials. The multifunctionality of plastics is valued not only because of the wide range of applications, but especially against the background of sustainable energy and resource efficiency. Development of such high-performance materials and for the knowledge of their properties requires powerful analysis. The application areas and possibilities of modern and functional materials are virtually unlimited. In addition to industrial applications, plastics are used in all areas of daily life, from consumer goods to packaging. There is a high demand for research and development, and as the range of novel functional materials and grades increases, the demands placed on analysis are likewise growing.

Innovative synthesis and analysis techniques, as demonstrated at analytica, are the catalyst for researching and testing new materials.

analytica leads the way to the future of chemistry

Innovations in analysis provide significant impetus to the chemical industry. The leading international trade fair analytica informs you comprehensively and in detail about the broad spectrum of analysis and research. At the analytica 2018, the latest device configurations and coupling options as well as groundbreaking trends in analysis and laboratory technology were presented. The user found the right solution for every problem in the laboratory. The industry’s leading international trade fair provided a comprehensive overview of innovative analytical methods and laboratory technology for all facets of science and industry. Many methods can be used inexpensively, quickly and efficiently in daily laboratory routine and quality assurance. Nevertheless, for high-end analysis the state of the art was likewise presented in Munich.