Coatings are applied to pharmaceutical tablets (or pills) to for either cosmetic or release control reasons. Cosmetic coatings control the colour or to mask the taste of an active ingredient; the thickness of these coating is not critical to the performance of the product. On the other hand the thickness and uniformity of a controlled release coating has been found affect the release of the active ingredient. In this work we have obtained from a pharmacy single brand of pantoprazole tablet and mapped them using terahertz pulsed imaging (TPI) prior to additional dissolution testing. Three terahertz parameters were derived for univariate analysis for each layer: coating thickness, terahertz electric field peak strength and terahertz interface index. These parameters were then correlated dissolution tested. The best fit was found to be with combined coating layer thickness of the inert layer and enteric coating. The commercial tablets showed a large variation in coating thickness.
Studies of basal cell carcinoma using terahertz pulsed imaging have revealed a significant difference between regions of tumor and healthy tissue. These differences are manifested in the reflected pulse due to what is thought to be changes in refractive index and absorption. We present measurements of the refractive index and absorption coefficient of excised normal tissue and basal cell carcinoma using terahertz (THz) transmission spectroscopy. We extract Debye parameters from these data and enter them into a finite difference time domain simulation to predict the shape of the waveforms reflected off the normal tissue and basal cell carcinoma and compare them with published in vivo data. Simulating the interaction of terahertz radiation with normal and cancerous tissue is a key step toward understanding the origin of contrast in terahertz images of skin cancer.
We report the use of a terahertz pulsed imaging technique for three-dimensional chemical mapping. Terahertz radiation reflected from a sample was measured pixel-by-pixel in time domain using a terahertz pulsed imaging system developed at TeraView Ltd, UK. The recorded terahertz waveforms were then transformed into frequency domain using time-partitioned Fourier transform. Structural maps of samples were obtained by analyzing the terahertz time-domain data whilst chemical maps were obtained from terahertz spectral data sets. For a sample comprising chemical A at the surface of a polyethylene pellet and chemical B buried inside the pellet, we have separated the component spatial patterns of the two chemicals using their spectral fingerprints. The reconstructed three-dimensional chemical maps not only locate the chemicals in the object, but also identify each chemical. We also demonstrate the capabilities of terahertz pulsed imaging for non-destructive analysis of coating thickness and quality, and for detecting and identifying explosive materials such as RDX.
The terahertz spectrum of the explosive RDX has been measured using a conventional Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and by terahertz pulse spectroscopy in transmission and reflection modes. Seven absorption features in the spectral range 5-120 cm-1 have been observed and identified as the fingerprints of RDX explosive. Furthermore, a sample consisting of RDX-based explosive, mounted side by side with lactose and sucrose pellets, has been imaged using a terahertz pulse imaging system. The recorded terahertz images and their spectral data have a spectral resolution of 1 cm-1 and cover a spectral range of 5-80 cm-1. This broad spectral coverage enables the spatial distribution of individual chemical substances of the sample to be mapped out. We also discuss the application of Principal Component Analysis and Component Spatial Pattern Analysis to the automatic identification of materials, such as explosives, from terahertz imaging.
Recent events have led to dramatic changes to the methods employed in security screening. For example, following the failed shoe bombing, it is now common for shoes to be removed and X-rayed at airport checkpoints. There is therefore an increasing focus on new Recent events have led to dramatic changes to the methods employed in security screening. For example, following the failed shoe bombing, it is now common for shoes to be removed and X-rayed at airport checkpoints. There is therefore an increasing focus on new technologies that can be applied to security screening, either to simplify or speed up the checking process, or to provide additional functionality. Terahertz (THz) technology is a promising, emerging candidate. In previous publications we have shown how our THz pulsed imaging systems can be used to image threat items, and have demonstrated that explosive materials have characteristic THz spectra. We have also demonstrated that nonmetallic weaponry can be imaged when concealed beneath clothing. In this work we examine more closely the properties of barrier and potential confusion materials. We demonstrate that barrier materials have smooth spectra with relatively low attenuation. We further demonstrate that the terahertz spectra of several common chemicals and medicines are distinct from those of threat materials.