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RA802 Pharmaceutical Analyser

The Renishaw RA802 Pharmaceutical Analyser

Renishaw's RA802 Pharmaceutical Analyser offers scientists a step change in vibrational spectroscopy-based imaging techniques.

Three of the most common complaints about conventional Raman microscopy and infrared microscopy (IR microscopy) systems are sample focus, speed of analysis and ease-of-use.

The RA802 Pharmaceutical Analyser combines Renishaw's proprietary LiveTrack™ and StreamLine™ technologies to generate chemical images up to 150 times faster than conventional methods, whilst maintaining focus – ensuring high quality pharmaceutical tablet imaging.

The minimalist design philosophy has meant that RA802 exhibits unrivalled speed and ease-of-use when compared to alternative chemical imaging systems.

How RA802 overcomes the limitations of conventional chemical imaging techniques

Problems with conventional systems

Solutions provided by RA802

Sample focusingFinding focus…
  • Pharmaceutical samples are often rough or curved
  • Conventional Raman and infrared microscopy techniques force users to manually focus the sample surface before beginning the measurement, however, even if the sample is only slightly uneven or curved, the microscope will quickly lose focus when the focal depth is on a scale of microns
  • This results in poor quality, out-of-focus images

LiveTrack – the world's leading focus-tracking technology

  • RA802's LiveTrack automatically moves the sample along x, y and z axis under the microscope objective to maintain focus throughout the measurement, ensuring highest quality chemical images across the whole sample
  • Image quality is never compromised
Speed of analysisLosing time…
  • Conventional Raman microscopy systems perform what's called a point measurement
  • During a point measurement, individual Raman spectra are collected at pre-defined steps across the sample surface
  • This takes a long time – older point measurement systems would need to run overnight and would still only manage to collect spectra over a small sample area
  • Point measurements also increase the chance of sample damage by focusing a high-powered laser on a single point no greater than a few microns
StreamLine - the world's fastest tablet mapping solution…
  • Instead of focussing the laser onto a single point, StreamLine distributes the laser power into a focussed 90 µm laser line
  • StreamLine allows the detector to accumulate signal as the sample traverses the laser line increasing the imaging speed and decreasing the risk of sample damage
  • Collection speeds of 1,500 spectra per second are possible using StreamLine, decreasing analysis time
Ease-of-useCombating complexity…
  • One of the biggest considerations for any pharmaceutical laboratory evaluating capital equipment purchases is the cost of employing staff to run the equipment
  • Raman imaging is historically viewed as a highly specialised technique, requiring a dedicated end user to run and maintain the equipment
  • If the end user leaves, the instrument can undergo periods of significant downtime until a new user can be trained
Simplicity by design…
  • RA802 has dramatically simplified Raman imaging
  • RA802 is suitable for use by technicians through to principal scientists
  • The hardware is entirely software driven with minimal user intervention
  • RA802 is designed for use in an open-lab environment by multiple casual users with minimal training, all but eliminating instrument downtime
ResolutionLeaving matters unresolved…
  • Samples can appear homogeneous at the length scale of tens to hundreds of microns but can exhibit local inhomogeneity in the low to single digit microns
  • When looking for trace levels of impurities, resolution is key to identifying contributions from small amounts of material
  • Conventional imaging techniques such as IR microscopy are limited to resolution in the tens of microns by the sensitivity of the detector and the wavelength of light
  • Traditional Raman systems suffered from slow analysis speeds which meant that building up a high-resolution image took too long – the only way to decrease the analysis time was to reduce the resolution

Why compromise?

  • RA802's LiveTrack and StreamLine mean that sample analysis is faster than ever
  • A whole tablet can be mapped in as little as 5 minutes at low-resolution, or in just 2 hours at the highest resolution
  • The lower laser wavelengths employed in Raman spectroscopy means that resolution can be as high as 1 µm per pixel – allowing scientists to truly understand the local inhomogeneity of their sample
Batch mappingMinimising user involvement…
  • Traditional chemical imaging systems are single-sample instruments
  • Once the analysis has finished, the user is required to remove the old sample and insert the new sample before they can setup the next run
  • This is time consuming and inhibits the ability of users to run large batches of multiple samples
The solution for the busy scientist…
  • Batch mapping allows the user to program multiple sample to run multiple sequentially, freeing up the user to do other things
  • Renishaw provide bespoke tablet moulds specific to the users' samples
  • These moulds hold the samples in place whilst the software seamlessly moves from one sample to the next on completion of each run
Raman imaging, also known as Raman mapping, is a complementary technique to IR microscopy and XRD. Although all techniques have their strengths and weaknesses, Raman mapping – as employed in the RA802 Pharmaceutical Analyser – exhibits a number of competitive advantages over these alternative techniques:
Raman imaging (RA802)Infrared microscopyXRD
Suitable for blended materials

Surface imaging (mapping)

Polymorph identification
Coarse/uneven surfaces

High-resolution (1 µm per pixel)
Ease of use
Batch mapping

Free sample analysis:

If you are interested in what you have seen, please contact us to request a demo. We would be happy to perform a free evaluation to validate the RA802 for your samples to provide you with confidence in the technique and de-risk your instrument purchase.

I'd like to learn more!

If you're interested in learning more about how RA802 could help your sample analysis requirements, please send us a message detailing your query to the relevant territory manager.


Class 11 laser product (Class 3B available on request)

1As defined by IEC 60825-1:2014

Witness the future of chemical imaging

Downloads: RA802 Pharmaceutical Analyser

  • Product note:  RA802 Pharmaceutical Analyser Product note: RA802 Pharmaceutical Analyser

    The RA802 Pharmaceutical Analyser is a compact benchtop Raman imaging system that redefines formulation analysis. It is easy to use, yet gives rich chemical information. Designed exclusively for the pharmaceutical industry, the RA802 rapidly obtains detailed information on the distribution of chemical species. With unique LiveTrack™ focus-tracking technology, it can efficiently analyse uneven, curved, or rough surfaces at incredible speeds and without any sample preparation.

  • Application note:  New methods for determining content uniformity of formulations Application note: New methods for determining content uniformity of formulations

    The uniformity of a drug product’s contents is a parameter that requires constant monitoring. It is important from a handling/processing standpoint, and it is of the utmost importance for patient safety to ensure that the correct dose is delivered every time.

  • Application note:  Rapid polymorph identification with the RA802 Pharmaceutical Analyser Application note: Rapid polymorph identification with the RA802 Pharmaceutical Analyser

    The stability, bioavailability and processability of an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) are key to a candidate molecule’s ability to be developed into a commercially viable product, sometimes referred to its ‘drugability’. Characterising the polymorphism of APIs has become an important consideration in this process.

  • Application note:  Using Raman spectroscopy to tackle polymorphism, an industry problem Application note: Using Raman spectroscopy to tackle polymorphism, an industry problem

    This note looks at incidences of polymorphism in drug development including advantages and challenges. It also examines a trial between manufacturers, where Renishaw’s Raman instruments were used by a leading pharmaceutical company in an attempt to prove infringement by a generic competitor.

  • White paper:  Finding fakes – using Raman imaging to identify counterfeit medicines White paper: Finding fakes – using Raman imaging to identify counterfeit medicines

    Raman spectroscopy is highly specific and well-suited to identifying counterfeits which often use similar components to the reference product.

  • White paper:  Methods for deformulating drugs White paper: Methods for deformulating drugs

    In this white paper we look at reverse engineering existing drug products using Raman imaging. We show that the Renishaw RA802 Pharmaceutical Analyser can be used to successfully characterise innovator and generic products and facilitate deformulation activities, and can characterise the components, concentrations, particle sizes and distributions of the innovator formulation, allowing generic followers to adjust their processes in order to create equivalent products, or products which are strategically different.

  • Technical note:  LiveTrack focus-tracking technology Technical note: LiveTrack focus-tracking technology

    LiveTrack focus-tracking technology maintains optimum focus for both white light and Raman imaging to give stunning 3D images.

Latest RA802 news

Renishaw's RA802 Pharmaceutical Analyser wins an award

Renishaw, the global engineering technologies company, is delighted to announce that its RA802 Pharmaceutical Analyser has won the best measurement laboratory equipment award during Eurolab 2017.

Renishaw's LiveTrack™ focus-tracking technology wins an award

Renishaw, the global engineering technologies company, is delighted to have won an award for its real time focus-tracking technology for Raman imaging - LiveTrack.