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Electron Microscopy Sciences

EMS Academy Applications

Pharma 2 Workshoparrow13Pharmaceutical Microscopy Workshop: Applications

This workshop is designed to introduce the major applications of microscopy in pharmaceutical development: polymorphism, particle size analysis, contaminant identification, and glass corrosion.Sign Up

Examples of the Microscopy of Pharmaceuticals

PLM image of anthroquinone cooled after thermal microscopy. Crossed polars with lambda waveplate.
Uniaxial interference pattern used to determine optical crystallographic properties of polymorphs.

SEM image of Teflon tape. Teflon is used in pharmaceutical manufacturing and is a source of contamination.
Energy dispersive x-ray chemical map of a sectioned multivitamin tablet.

Fluorescence microscopy image of a sectioned multivitamin tablet. Different imaging techniques can be correlated to better understand drug performance.
Differential interference contrast (DIC) image of liquid drops on interior of parenteral glass vial. DIC is used to examine parenteral glass vials.

SEM image of primary drug particle. Particle morphology can help understand pharmaceutical performance in some dosage forms.
SEM image of interior glass surface showing evidence of parenteral glass vial corrosion (delamination).


Tuesday - Thursday
October 10 - 12, 2017
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Hatfield, Pennsylvania, USA


The EMS Microscopy Academy
Located in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, the Academy provides electron microscopy classes, workshops and training sessions for all fields of microscopy, including materials science and biological science.

Targeted Participants

This course is intended for the intermediate level analyst who is skilled at some of the microscopy techniques but needs training in other techniques and in interpretation.

Scope of Class

This workshop is designed to introduce the major applications of microscopy in pharmaceutical development: polymorphism, particle size analysis, contaminant identification, and glass corrosion.

The workshop is conducted over three days with a mixture of theory, demonstrations and hands-on work. The course is designed to prepare the student to apply microscopy to solve solid-state pharmaceutical issues. The emphasis is on the practical use of the microscope.


Lecture, demonstration and hands-on practice, as well as round table table tips and tricks discussion. Participants are encouraged to bring their own samples, if possible.

Main Curriculum

  • Polymorphism: using Polarized light and thermal microscopy
  • Ir and Raman Microspectroscopy
  • Size and shape analysis: using OLM, SEM/EDS, and fluorescence with image analysis
  • Contamination identification and glass corrosion analysis: using polarized and scanning microscopes
  • EDS and Microspectroscopy

Instruments Available

Polarizing Light Microscope Hitachi S3500 SEM Image Analysis Software
Linkam Thermal Microscope Bruker Esprit (SDD) IR and Raman Microscopes


Robert Carlton
Robert worked for nearly 40 years in the research and development of fiberglass insulation, orthopedics, and pharmaceuticals. His specialty is solid-state analysis with a particular interest in microscopy. Robert retired from full-time employment in early 2016. He is now teaching microscopy and consulting on solid-state analysis in pharmaceutical development. Robert's education is in chemistry, with a Ph.D. from Lehigh University. He has taken numerous courses at McCrone Research Institute on microscopy from Skip Palenik and Walter McCrone. Robert worked for pharmaceutical companies Rhone-Poulenc Rorer (Aventis, Sanofi), Elan (Nanocrystal), and GlaxoSmithKline in microscopy and solid-state analysis for 24 years. He published a book on Pharmaceutical Microscopy in 2011 with Springer.

Michael Kostrna
Michael was the program director of the Electron Microscopy Technician program at Madison Area Technical College and has more than 35 years in EM technical education and research experience. He has been training EM students for 29 years and has developed curricula and lab exercises for TEM, SEM, OLM, lab safety, introductory and advanced biological EM, EM, maintenance, and x-Ray microanalysis. He has worked with companies such as SC Johnson Polymer, Dow Chemicals, Io Genetics, Virent Technologies, ABS Global, NanoOnocology, and Microscopy Inovations, and in the process gained insight to the various applications of EM.

Al Coritz
Al has been working in the Electron Microscopy field for 38 years, beginning at the Yale School of Medicine and ending up on the commercial side with several key EM companies. His specialty is Cryo-techniques and Thin Film Technology: i.e. Freeze Fracture/Rotary Shadowing, High Pressure Freezing, and more. He is currently with Electron Microscopy Sciences where he has been the Technical Director for over 20 years.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Theory of polymorphism, form discovery, form selection, polymorph stability, and regulatory considerations.
8:00-8:30 Introduction of staff and participants
8:30-10:30 Polymorphism in drug development; Early stage form discovery studies
10:30-11:00 Coffee break
11:00-12:00 Demonstrations related to form discovery using PLM, TM, IR, and Raman
12:00-1:00 Provided lunch
1:00-2:30 Late stage form selection studies, methods of determining polymorph stability, regulatory considerations
2:30-3:00 Break
3:00-4:30 Demonstrations of late stage studies using PLM, TM, IR, and Raman
6:30 Hosted Dinner

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Importance of particle size and shape, image analysis techniques, chemical imaging using SEM/EDS, microspectroscopy, and fluorescence microscopy.
8:00-8:30 Recap and questions from previous day
8:30-10:00 Image analysis principles, shape analysis, sample preparation, image analysis routines
10:00-10:30 Coffee break
10:30-12:00 Demonstrations related sample preparation, shape analysis, and image analysis routines using optical microscopy
12:00-1:00 Provided lunch
1:00-2:30 Counting statistics, error analysis, chemical imaging using SEM/EDS, microspectroscopy, and fluorescence microscopy
2:30-3:00 Break
3:00-4:30 Demonstration and hands-on work with image analysis on the SEM and chemical imaging

Thursday, October 12, 2017
Principles of contaminant identification, microscopy methods used with contaminants, glass vial corrosion (delamination), methods of corrosion analysis.
8:00-8:30 Recap and questions from previous day
8:30-10:00 Contaminant identification principles
10:00-10:30 Coffee break
10:30-12:30 Demonstration of contaminant identification methods
12:30-1:30 Provided lunch and assessment feedback on workshop
1:30-2:30 Glass corrosion (delamination) determination
2:30-4:30 Demonstrations of glass corrosion analysis


Participants are responsible for making their own hotel reservations. The following hotel has been designated as the host hotel:

Homewood Suites
1200 Pennbrook Parkway
Lansdale, PA 19446
Phone: 215-362-6400

The special rates are $119.00 per night (plus tax) which includes a hot breakfast and a light dinner in the evening.

Please make your reservations and mention you are participating in the EMS Workshop.

Everyone should plan to arrive the evening of October 9th.

Enrollment Note

Registration will be limited to a maximum of 15 participants.
EMS will provide samples to those who prefer not to bring their own.

Registration Fee $995.00


A workshop syllabus, all supplies, reagents and solutions, lunches, coffee, tea, and dinner on the first evening of the workshop.

Online Registration

Add your registration to your cart using the links below to use our secure checkout and pay by credit card.

During checkout please indicate:

  • The name of the course
  • Will you bring your own specimens? Yes / No
  • What samples you are bringing and are most interested in?

Checkout Instructions
If only registering for a class, select any method of shipment to proceed, as shipping charges will not apply.

If ordering products in addition to registration, select desired shipping method.

Regular Tuition Registration: $995.00 Pharmaceutical Microscopy Workshop: Applications

Pay by Check

Make payable to EMS and reference "Pharmaceutical Microscopy Workshop, Applications".

Return your registration to:
Stacie Kirsch
1560 Industry Road
Hatfield, PA 19440 USA

Please contact Stacie Kirsch for more information.
Phone: 215-412-8400 Fax: 215-412-8450