The example below shows mass resolved secondary ion images from a tablet cross section.
This technique can be used to determine the distribution of the different ingredients, including the drug itself, within the tablet.
Correlation analysis of a tablet cross section showing the lateral distribution of various components
Asthma Drug Salbutamol
The asthma drug Salbutamol is commercially produced as a coating on micron-sized sugar beads and packed in an aerosol container.
A large area of many beads was imaged using Bi3++ (illustrated on the left) and the image of one bead was enlarged (right).
The distribution of the molecular ion of Salbutamol, mass 240 u, on the bead surface is clearly visible. The pixel size in the image is 100 nm x 100 nm2, and the mass spectrum from the selected pixel shows significant intensity for the Salbutamol molecular ion peak (20 counts detected).
Calculation shows that the amount of Salbutamol in this pixel area was in the range of 2 x 10-20 mol.
Salbutamol Field of view 52.7 x 52.7 µm2
Salbutamol: Field of view 9.5 x 9.5 µm2
Mass spectrum reconstructed from a single image pixel (100 x 100 nm2)
Salbutamol (M+H)+: 2.1E5 counts