Where You See a Beaker, I See Potential
by Justine Potter, Analytical Scientist, Formulation Chemistry
In the world of formulation chemistry, we make Quality Control (QC) samples at pretty high concentrations. Recently, we had to develop a method where the high QC concentration was 400 mg/mL. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen something at that high of a concentration, but it is pretty much the consistency of paste. Normally to make a QC, we weigh out the compound in a volumetric flask, leave it spinning and sonicate it or use our handheld ultrasonic cell disruptor. We tried all of these methods and tools to make this 400 mg/mL QC, but the compound would not form a suspension. Enter the humble beaker.
Recently, we have purchased custom made 10 mL graduated beakers. Unlike a normal beaker, the graduations on the side more precisely reflect the volume inside, similar to our volumetric flasks. We decided to use this custom beaker to weigh out the compound for the 400 mg/mL QC and then use the handheld homogenizer to mix the QC at a low setting. A suspension was achieved and tested, resulting in a concentration within 0.5% from theoretical. Any method of mixing in a volumetric flask couldn’t achieve this result.
These 10 mL graduated beakers have improved the way we can make QCs in the MicroConstants Formulation Chemistry department, especially at high concentrations. So, while you may just see a 10 mL beaker, I see the potential to make high QCs in a new way. Change your glassware, change your life.