Acoustic-resonance spectrometry as a process analytical technology for rapid and accurate tablet identification

Joseph Medendorp, Robert A. Lodder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


This research was performed to test the hypothesis that acoustic-resonance spectrometry (ARS) is able to rapidly and accurately differentiate tablets of similar size and shape. The US Food and Drug Administration frequently orders recalls of tablets because of labeling problems (eg, the wrong tablet appears in a bottle). A high-throughput, nondestructive method of online analysis and label comparison before shipping could obviate the need for recall or disposal of a batch of mislabeled drugs, thus saving a company considerable expense and preventing a major safety risk. ARS is accurate and precise as well as inexpensive and nondestructive, and the sensor is constructed from readily available parts, suggesting utility as a process analytical technology (PAT). To test the classification ability of ARS, 5 common household tablets of similar size and shape were chosen for analysis (aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, vitamin C, and vitamin B12). The measures of successful tablet identification were intertablet distances in nonparametric multidimensional standard deviations (MSDs) greater than 3 and intratablet MSDs less than 3, as calculated from an extended bootstrap error-adjusted single sample technique. The average intertablet MSD was 65.64, while the average intratablet MSD from cross-validation was 1.91. Tablet mass (r2 = 0.977), thickness (r2 = 0.977), and density (r2 = 0.900) were measured very accurately from the AR spectra, each with less than 10% error. Tablets were identified correctly with only 250 ms data collection time. These results demonstrate that ARS effectively identified and characterized the 5 types of tablets and could potentially serve as a rapid high-throughput online pharmaceutical sensor.

Original languageEnglish
Article number25
Pages (from-to)E1-E9
JournalAAPS PharmSciTech
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 17 2006


  • Chemometrics
  • Integrated sensing and processing (ISP)
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Process analytical technology (PAT)
  • Sound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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