NIR analysis of pharmaceutical samples without reference data: Improving the calibration

M. Blanco, R. Cueva-Mestanza, A. Peguero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Using an appropriate set of samples to construct the calibration set is crucial with a view to ensuring accurate multivariate calibration of NIR spectroscopic data. In this work, we developed and optimized a new methodology for incorporating physical variability in pharmaceutical production based on the NIR spectrum for the process. Such a spectrum contains the spectral changes caused by each treatment applied to the component mixture during the production process. The proposed methodology involves adding a set of process spectra (viz. difference spectra between those for production tablets and a laboratory mixture of identical nominal composition) to the set of laboratory samples, which span the wanted concentration range, in order to construct a calibration set incorporating all physical changes undergone by the samples in each step of the production process. The best calibration model among those tested was selected by establishing the influence of spectral pretreatments used to obtain the process spectrum and construct the calibration models, and also by determining the multiplying factor m to be applied to the process spectra in order to ensure incorporation of all variability sources into the calibration model. The specific samples to be included in the calibration set were selected by principal component analysis (PCA). To this end, the new methodology for constructing calibration sets for determining the Active Principle Ingredients (API) and excipients was applied to Irbesartan tablets and validated by application to the API and excipients of paracetamol tablets. The proposed methodology provides simple, robust calibration models for determining the different components of a pharmaceutical formulation. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2218-2225
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2011


  • Calibration set
  • Calibration without reference data
  • Near infrared spectroscopy
  • PLS calibration
  • Process variability matrix


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