Small-angle scattering for characterization of pharmaceutical materials

Seema Thakral, Kyungtae Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Small-angle scattering (SAS) is a versatile analytical technique that provides detailed structural information from a sample at the length scale of nanometers. In this overview, we discuss the basic principles of SAS and the diverse applications of the technique in characterization of pharmaceutical materials. Examples include identification of liquid-crystalline mesophase of drugs, influence of excipient microstructure on the final product performance, and formulation optimization of solid dispersions as well as protein-based therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116144
Pages (from-to)116144
JournalTrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was, in part, carried out at the Characterization Facility, University of Minnesota, which receives partial support from the NSF through the MRSEC (Award Number DMR-2011401) and the NNCI (Award Number ECCS-2025124) programs. Parts of the work were performed at the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, an Office of Science User Facility operated for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. Los Alamos National Laboratory, an affirmative action equal opportunity employer, is managed by Triad National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's NNSA, under contract 89233218CNA000001.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.


  • Excipients
  • Liquid-crystalline mesophase
  • Microstructure
  • Polymorphs
  • Protein formulations
  • Small-angle neutron scattering
  • Small-angle scattering
  • Small-angle X-ray scattering
  • Solid dispersion

How much support was provided by MRSEC?

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