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The McCrystal app helping researchers working in the area of Cellulose and pharmaceutical formulation design
August 5, 2021

Recently developed by Ana Luiza Pinto Queiroz, previous PhD researcher with SSPC, the SFI Research Centre for Pharmaceuticals at the University College Cork (UCC), now a Process Development Engineer at APC Ltd., McCrystal is a free-access calculator of the crystallinity index of microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) from Raman spectral data.

McCrystal also performs spectral baseline by linear interpolation, spectral normalization by Standard Normal Variate (SNV), and principal component analysis (PCA). MCC is one the substances most used to improve manufacturing performance of solid dosage formulations such as tablets and capsules.

The project entitled “Determination of crystallinity variability in commercial batches of microcrystalline cellulose using Raman spectroscopy”, led by Ana Luiza P. Queiroz, her supervisor Prof. Abina Crean, and co-supervisor Dr Sonja Vucen, UCC. The aim of this study was to develop an analytical technique to rapidly determine microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) crystallinity index from Raman spectral data.

MCC is the excipient most widely used in solid dosage forms. It is a semi-crystalline material with inherent crystallinity variability due to raw material source and variable processing conditions. If not well controlled, the variability of this critical material attributes may negatively impact on control of processes (granulation, tabletting) as well as the critical quality attributes of final products

The final design includes an online calculator available and has free access for researchers and industry personnel all over the world. They can use the crystallinity information generated by McCrystal to understand the difference between batches of MCC and adjust the process in which those batches are going to be used to account for these differences when necessary.

The user needs to uploads a .csv file containing the Raman spectra and McCrystal automatically perform all those analyses. The results are shown as tables and interactive graphics and can also be downloaded as .csv files.

Visit SSPC, the SFI Research Centre for Pharmaceuticals https://sspc.ie/mccrystal-registration/, to avail of the free app.

See the most recent research publication in Cellulose, Investigating microcrystalline cellulose crystallinity using Raman spectroscopy! https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s10570-021-04093-1.pdf

This SSPC collaborative effort was led by Ana Luiza Pinto Queiroz with current and past researchers from UCC Pharmacy (Sonja Vucen, Mary Ellen Crowley, Brian Kerins, Waleed Faisal, Fatma Farag), UCC Chemistry (Simon Lawrence and Humphrey Moynihan) and Trinity College Dublin Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (Anne Marie Healy and Jayprakash Yadav).

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