Category Archives: Press

Particle Technology Labs’ Director of Analytical Services to Give Presentation in Amsterdam

Particle Technology Labs’ Executive Vice President and Director of Analytical Services William K. Kopesky will return to the Netherlands where he will present at The Center for Professional Advancement’s course entitled, Powders: Their Properties and Processing. This is Mr. Kopesky’s second consecutive year presenting. The three-day event will take place December 3rd through December 5th, 2018, in Amsterdam. Other presenters include Dr. Cecil W. Propst and Mr. Dilip Parikh.    
The primary purpose of the course is to “review the various properties of powdered solids pertinent to the development and manufacture of the products of the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and allied industries.”  While the course is designed for those in product development, the event is attended by scientists, suppliers and technologists. The full course description for his presentation can be viewed here.
Joining PTL as a Particle Characterization Chemist in 2000, Mr. Kopesky became Laboratory Manager in 2002 before being named Managing Director in 2008 and Director of Analytical Services in 2012. His years at PTL have given him exposure to a tremendous variety of particle characterization topics, techniques, and projects spanning many industries including pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, environmental, industrial, and more. During his career with PTL, he has conducted presentations and training in the field of particle characterization, provided testimony for patent infringement cases, and has been involved with consulting services in addition to hands-on analytical work.
The Center for Professional Advancement – CfPA is the largest accredited technical training organization in the world offering technical training and continuing professional education courses to those in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, chemical engineering and cosmetics industries.

PTL Receives ACIL Customer Quality Service Award

The American Council for Independent Laboratories (ACIL) has announced Particle Technology Labs as one of only 12 recipients of the ACIL Customer Quality Service Award for 2018. This is PTL’s sixth consecutive year in qualifying for this award.

The ACIL Customer Quality Service award program was developed in 1996 to recognize laboratories with exemplary quality performance. This program provides users with a mechanism for evaluating testing laboratories.  Participants are committed to ensuring the integrity of data, meeting customer’s quality needs and setting the standards of performance for the testing laboratory industry.

To participate in the program, laboratories must distribute satisfaction surveys to customers, maintain proof of an annual ethics-training program and an early detection system for questionable analytical practices, and submit a signed code of ethics. The Customer Quality Service Award participants demonstrate that they are proud of the quality they achieve and always operate with customer service as a top priority.

We are pleased to once again successfully qualify into this program. Thank you to all our customers who provided honest feedback regarding our particle characterization services.

For more information about this award, or for any of the services offered at PTL, please visit our website at or contact us at 630-969-2703.


Some comments from our customer satisfaction surveys include:

“Great laboratory. A pleasure to work with.”

“PTL has worked hard with us to resolve issues/investigations expediently and great customer service.”

“We have nothing but top notch service from PTL.”

“We appreciate PTL’s level of confidence, solid expertise, professionalism, honesty and close relationship with customers.”

PTL Installs New Humidity Chamber for Pre-analysis Conditioning

During the course of manufacturing, packaging, storage, or transportation, materials are often exposed to a variety of environmental factors, including differences in temperature and humidity. These changes can affect materials in ways which may impact the quality, reliability, or shelf life of a product or ingredient. To mimic these factors, PTL has installed a Memmert HCP108 humidity chamber.

By pre-conditioning sample material in this humidity chamber prior to analysis, PTL can replicate specific environmental conditions to troubleshoot material issues or conduct comparison studies. Sample material is placed into the chamber and held at a controlled level based on client-provided time, temperature, and humidity specifications. The temperature range can be set from 35°C to 90°C and the humidity range from 20%RH to 95%RH. The unit is computer controlled allowing for ramping and cycling of the temperature and humidity at a specified rate.

Storage conditions can be of specific interest when bulk powder properties appear to change between manufacturing locations or production batches. Powder flowability, bulk/tap density and angle of repose are examples of bulk powder properties typically affected by temperature and humidity during storage. PTL can test for these properties in our laboratory. Storage conditions can also cause different polymorphic forms in pharmaceuticals which can be investigated by using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). All of these tests are available at PTL.

To find out more about pre-conditioning sample material before analysis, contact us at (630) 969-2703 or online by clicking here.

PTO ISO/IEC 17025:2005 Accreditation



Particle Technology Labs is pleased to announce its new ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accreditation status. This accreditation assures PTL customers that laboratory operations, personnel training, equipment calibration, maintenance, and operation and quality assurance systems are in compliance with ISO/IEC 17025:2005 requirements. For more information and a link to our full accreditation certificate, visit

ISO/IEC 17025 is an internationally recognized quality standard for calibration and testing laboratories. Accreditation to this standard asserts that the laboratory is competent to conduct specific testing as detailed on the certificate of accreditation. For an organization to be ISO 17025 accredited, its facility must undergo a rigorous independent assessment which evaluates the quality management system, training practices, testing programs, and instrument maintenance processes.

PTL at the US Power Plant Water Treatment Conference



Water is just one of many industries that turn to PTL for expert particle size and characterization testing. Water particulate is tested for many reasons including determining the characteristics for health and environmental purposes. Particle Technology Labs will be attending the US Power Plant Water Treatment conference in Chicago on September 12th and 13th. The conference brings together industry figures within the US power industry to discuss pertinent issues facing water management. For more information about the conference, visit

Regulatory Compliance

 ASTM, ISO, and USP Regulatory Compliance

Regulatory compliance is a necessary aspect of quality control in nearly all industries including pharmaceutical, food and beverage, ceramics, petrochemical and more. To comply, companies turn to PTL to perform standardized testing governed by national and international standards organizations including ASTM, ISO and USP. Please contact PTL to discuss any standardized tests required by your industry. For a listing of our most commonly performed regulated analyses, click here to visit our our “Standards and Methods” page.

Gas Adsorption & Porosimetry Analyses at PTL

At PTL, our trained chemists perform routine as well as advanced material characterization analysis services.  They also conduct method developments, validations and execute transfer protocols all while solving complex problems for clients from a variety of industries.  These industries include pharmaceutical, environmental, petrochemical, manufacturing, cosmetics, dietary supplements, food and beverage and others.

Among the many types of particle sizing and characterization services offered at PTL, our expert chemists perform analyses using various gas physisorption techniques to determine BET surface area. Porosimetry can be measured using gas adsorption and mercury techniques depending on the material’s pore size. We follow standard methods from various organizations such as ISO, USP, and ASTM where applicable.

To determine the most appropriate techniques for your surface characterization needs, please contact us by clicking here.

Following is a brief description of PTL’s BET surface area analysis, micropore/mesopore measurement and mercury intrusion porosimitry testing.



Surface area analysis detects and measures the cracks or crevasses, surface roughness, or accessible pores of particles, all of which can greatly affect the performance and behavior of a material. Pharmaceuticals, catalysts, adsorbents, materials for separation technologies, pigments, cosmetics, geologic & construction materials are just some materials that exhibit varying physical properties and effectiveness depending on their surface area and porosity.

The BET (Brunauer, Emmett and Teller) Theory is commonly used to evaluate the gas adsorption data and generate a Specific Surface Area (SSA) result expressed in units of area per mass of sample (m2/g). Briefly, this method involves allowing a clean and dry sample to adsorb a select inert gas such as nitrogen or krypton at liquid nitrogen temperature.  The BET theory is subsequently applied to interpret the adsorption data into information on the surface area.

For more detailed information about BET surface area analysis, click here.


Nanoporous materials are found in many research and industrial applications, including controlled drug delivery, energy conversion and storage, etc. A comprehensive characterization of nanoporous materials with regard to pore size, surface area, and pore size distribution is required in order to select and optimize the performance of these materials.

To determine the porosity of a material, various techniques may be employed depending on the size of the pores present and the chemical characteristics of the material. Per the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), porous materials can be categorized as containing micropores (< 2 nm in pore diameter), mesopores (2-50 nm in pore diameter), and/or macropores (> 50 nm in pore diameter).


Micropores are defined as pores with internal diameters of less than 2 nm. Characterization of the micropores involves the use of physisorptive gases that can penetrate into the pores under investigation. Gases used are those which are physically bound at the solid surface, a process referred to as physisorption; for example, N2 at 77K, Ar at 87K, and CO2 at 273K. Micropores are filled at very low relative pressure (P/P0), therefore, specialized instrumentation is required to measure these low pressures.

For more detailed information about Micropore analysis click here.



The fundamental principles and procedures of mesopore measurement are similar to BET surface area analysis using the static volumetric method.  First, any excess adsorbed gases are removed from the sample surface using vacuum or inert gas flow, typically at elevated temperature.  Then the adsorbate gas, most commonly nitrogen, is allowed to adsorb onto and desorb from the surface at liquid nitrogen temperature at varying relative pressures.  The use of other gases such as argon at liquid argon temperature has also been proven beneficial, especially if investigation into the micropore range (pore diameter of < 2 nm) is of interest.

For more detailed information about Mesopore analysis click here.



Mercury porosimetry is widely used in the catalyst and petrochemical industries for determining the pore size and pore volume of catalyst substrates such as silica and alumina zeolites.  In the biomedical field mercury porosimetry has been used to characterize tricalcium phosphate granules or strips used in bone grafts.  The pharmaceutical industry has found porosimetry useful in evaluating tablets formed using varied compression forces, for example.

The Washburn Equation relates the applied pressure to pore diameter using physical properties of the non wetting liquid (mercury in this case).  The physical properties include the contact angle between the mercury and the material, as well as surface tension. Instruments utilized at PTL allow for pressures ranging from approximately 1 psi up to 60,000 psi which correlates to measurement of pores from about 250 µm to 0.003 µm (3 nm).  The contact angle of the mercury on the material under test is an important consideration for optimal results.  The contact angle can either be provided or measured; otherwise default values can be entered during the analysis.  The volume of mercury intruded into the sample is monitored by a capacitance change in a metal clad capillary analytical cell called a penetrometer.  The sample is held in a section of the penetrometer cell, which is available in a variety of volumes to accommodate powder or intact solid pieces.  Sample size is limited to dimensions of approximately 2.5 cm long by 1.5 cm wide.

For more detailed information about Mercury Intrusion Porosimetry analysis click here.

This brief description covers only a small portion of the particle characterization services offered by Particle Technology Labs. For questions, or to discuss your specific testing needs, please contact us by clicking here.

PTL is a proven cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practices) compliant laboratory, in accordance with 21 CFR, Part 210 and 211. Our facility is FDA registered and inspected, and we host over 30 audits per year from the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies.  We are DEA licensed and approved to handle Schedule II through V Controlled Substances.


Particle Technology Labs Particle Characterization Contract Analysis Services

The Trend in Outsourced Scientific Research and Development

Outsourcing or contracting is a common practice used by companies to reduce costs and raise profits by cutting down on staff and equipment needs. Due to economic factors over the last few years, including high labor and equipment costs of in-house laboratories, outsourcing is becoming increasingly prevalent in the scientific community.

As more companies and institutions turn to outsourced science for research and development, more options are becoming available for contracted laboratory analysis services. With a wider range of choices, comes a wider range of quality and service. When given a choice, be sure to start with the experts.

PTL is Proud to be a Pioneer in the Contract Analysis Industry.

When new drugs are developed, or new technologies invented, laboratory analysis is a vital step to test or prove the end product. Making sure the end product is safe, effective and successful in the long run depends on the quality of its materials and structure. Detecting any inconsistencies or problems early on is key. Product recall, liability and poor sales due to product inconsistency or poor performance are just some examples of issues that can lead to unrecoverable loss of revenue. Not using an experienced laboratory for analysis services may lead to unimaginable costs.

Choosing a Proven and Reputable Contract Laboratory with Experience and Expertise Should be the Single Most Important Deciding Factor.

PTL has always been a particle characterization research and advisory contract lab. We are a trusted advisor to the world’s leading pharmaceutical, industrial, public sector, and scientific organizations. We have been an important part of the research and development of countless products in many industries including pharmaceutical, environmental, petroleum-chemical, manufacturing, cosmetics, dietary supplements, as well as food and beverage. During this time, we have worked with individuals up to industry giants as they bring their ideas and products to life. Our scope and expansive knowledge of particle technology allow us to provide our clients with precise, comprehensive results. We address problems that no one else can and provide the insight necessary for our clients to make the right decisions.

As the scientific industry changes and outsourced laboratories become more prevalent, choosing the right laboratory is vital. At PTL, this has been our only business for over 25 years. Our expertise, commitment to quality and the outstanding customer service we offer is why the world’s leading public and private organizations continue to choose Particle Technology Labs for their contract laboratory analysis needs.

PTL is a proven cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practices) compliant laboratory, in accordance with 21 CFR, Parts 11, 210 and 211. Our facility is FDA registered and inspected, hosting over 30 audits per year from the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies. We are DEA licensed and approved to handle schedule II through V controlled substances. We also hold an ATF permit for analyzing pyrotechnic materials.

Start with the Experts

Dynamic Imaging at Particle Technology Labs Advanced Particle Sizing and Characterization

Particle Technology Labs is pleased to announce the recent installation of our newest dynamic image analyzer, Particulate System’s Particle Insight. Approved for cGMP analysis, the Particle Insight joins our other dynamic instrument, the Malvern Sysmex FPIA-3000.

Many times, particle size distribution analysis alone provides adequate information about a material’s physical characteristics. However, in cases where the shape of the particles can affect performance and quality of the end product, more detailed information may be needed. For these applications, dynamic image analysis provides thorough and accurate particle shape characteristic measurements.

With the ability to analyze thousands of particles in the same amount of time needed to measure just a small number by manual microscopy or static image analysis, this state-of-the-art dynamic imaging instrument not only measures particle size, but also defines and characterizes particle shape, reporting detailed variations between samples in a fraction of the time.

While instruments such as laser diffractors provide a “size” of particles, the theory for data processing assumes the particles are spherical and require the operator to enter known optical properties of the particle and carrier for best results. Dynamic imaging instrumentation has the ability to not only size particles, but also detect and enumerate agglomerates, over-sized particles and contaminant particles without the need for the spherical shape assumption nor knowledge of the suspension’s optical properties. It can accurately measure the size of non-spherical particles such as needle-shaped crystals by providing length and width data, and can detect differences in optical properties such as transparency. Values called “shape factors” are reported and can be used to quantify differences in particle shape amongst a set of samples. The Particle Insight dynamic image analysis instrument can also potentially differentiate between individual components within a mixture on the basis of morphological or optical characteristics.

Dynamic imaging works by using a high resolution digital camera to capture images of dispersed particulate in a liquid suspension.  This liquid suspension is circulated through an optical cell, during which the digital camera captures images of the particles. Using digital thresholding techniques, images of particles are automatically and objectively measured, analyzed and classified for inclusion/exclusion. In reporting, images are displayed together with particle size and shape data, providing a very effective visual verification of results. The analytical technique is summarized in ISO standard 13322-2:2006 Particle size analysis — Image analysis methods — Part 2: Dynamic image analysis methods.

The Particle Insight provides a robust statistical measurement of particles in a sample as a whole. Compared to manual microscopy or static image analysis, dynamic imaging analyzes a larger number of particles in a shorter amount of time, while also reducing operator subjectivity, leading to more reliable and accurate results. In addition, due to the shorter analysis time, these analyses can be offered as a more cost effective shape measurement option to our clients.  Limitations to the instrument’s capabilities exist of course, so please contact us to discuss if your sample is applicable.

Visit our Image Analysis page on our website for more information.