In the preface to Spectroscopy of Pharmaceutical Solids, editor Harry Brittain states the rather lofty objective of providing "a greater degree of fundamental understanding ... necessary
to obtain maximal use out of each [solid-state spectroscopy] technique." This text accomplishes its goal through the clear
and cogent writing of Brittain and his coauthors, including Dave Bugay, James Drennen, Robert Cogdill, and Ales Medek. The
book explores topics such as mid-infrared, near-infrared (NIR), and Raman spectroscopy, as well as solid-state nuclear magnetic
resonance. Brittain himself contributes chapters about X-ray techniques, UV–vis, and luminescence spectroscopy.
The book opens with a brief primer about electromagnetic radiation and spectroscopy, showing the derivation of quantum theory
and its implications for spectroscopy. Subsequent major sections focus, logically and sequentially, on core-electron, valence-electron,
vibrational, and nuclear-spin spectroscopies. Each major section opens with a chapter describing the fundamental interactions
behind particular spectroscopic techniques. These concepts are provided in a concise but detailed manner, analogous to the
treatment in a college-level text. Each of the subsequent chapters lists many illustrative citations from the scientific literature.
For example, the chapter on solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry has 618 references that help demonstrate the
applicability of the analytical methods while highlighting the pitfalls in using the techniques. In addition, relevant figures
and tables are reproduced to illustrate some of the more important points.
Spectroscopy of Pharmaceutical Solids, Harry G. Brittain, Ed., Informa Healthcare, New York, NY, 2006, 592 pp., ISBN 9781574448931.
For each of the spectroscopic techniques, citations are provided from both the bulk-active and formulated product areas, as
is perspective relevant to both the development and manufacturing environments. With the recent increased interest in pharmaceutical
spectroscopy arising from the well-publicized FDA-sponsored process analytical technology and quality by design (QbD) initiatives,
the appearance of this text is quite timely. Several of the technique chapters highlight on-line applications and show their
relevance to fulfilling QbD objectives. Furthermore, fairly recent developments such as Raman and NIR imaging are described.
This generally well-written text has a few minor faults. It omits some relevant spectroscopic advances. For example, although
the book describes using chalcogenide fiber-optic elements in infrared spectrometry, it does not mention silver-halide fibers.
Some of the characteristic-absorbance tables and other data could have been compiled in appendices for ease of access. The
text detailing the similarities and differences between spectroscopy in the laboratory and manufacturing settings could have
been supplemented, even though, as stated previously, the book's focus is intended to be fundamental in nature.
All in all, this book is a handy reference that combines textbook-like theory with timely and illustrative citations. It would
be a worthwhile resource for neophytes in the field of pharmaceutical spectroscopy, as well as practitioners wishing to refresh
Steve Doherty, PhD, is a senior research scientist in the Process Analytical Technology Group at Eli Lilly and Company, DC 4210, Indianapolis,
IN 46285, tel. 317.651.1580, email@example.com