Category Archives: Press

PTL Celebrates Earth Day 2018

Safe disposal practices, recycling, and green lighting are just a few of the ways PTL works to responsibly protect our environment.
Our newest initiative began at the beginning of this month when PTL made the switch to paperless reporting. PTL completes thousands of analyses each year, and for every analysis, a report is produced. Historically, these reports were printed on paper, put into folders and envelopes and made their way to clients via trucks and planes. To cut down on paper waste and the environmental cost of transporation, PTL final reports are now digitally delivered via a secure online portal. This environmentally friendly delivery system places final reports in our clients’ hands much sooner, with less waste and negative impact on our planet.
On earth day and every day, PTL is striving to help protect our environment while delivering outstanding service and particle characterization results to our clients.
This means when you do business with PTL, you’re greener too.
Learn More
To learn more about Earth Day, visit the links below.

PTLs’ Michael Vinakos to Give Presentation at AFS Filtcon 2018

Michael Vinakos, Particle Characterization Chemist IV and Team Leader at Particle Technology Labs, will be presenting a technical session titled Understanding Particle Size Distributions. Mr. Vinakos’ lecture is one of several offered under the Indoor Air Quality session of the Air/Gas Track.
The session will be offered at the American Filtration & Separations Society’s (AFS) FiltCon 2018 which takes place April 23rd through the 25th, 2018 at the Mystic Lake Conference Center in Prior Lake, Minnesota. The society is a technical, educational, nonprofit organization dedicated to the exchange of information among engineers, scientists, and technologists in all areas of the fluid/separation field.

Mr. Vinakos’ presentation will focus on the interpretation of particle size distribution data and how particle size analysis is performed on captured air emissions samples.

The AFS Filtcon conference will feature 6 plenary sessions, 24 technical sessions, an expo featuring exhibitors, a student poster session and networking opportunities. Filtcon will also feature a selection of short courses.

Mr. Vinakos joined PTL as a Particle Characterization Chemist I before advancing to his current position as Particle Characterization Chemist IV and Team Leader. In his present supervisory role, Mr. Vinakos directs particle sizing & counting techniques as well as the microscopy & image analysis activities within PTL. His role involves leading complex projects and providing detailed technical review of analytical data. Mr. Vinakos received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from DePaul University and a Master of Science degree in Biotechnology and Chemical Science from Roosevelt University.

More information on AFS FiltCon 2018 can be found at:

Not Attending? 
If you are unable to attend AFS Filtcon 2018, please reach out to us to discuss your particle size and characterization needs.

PTL Announces Paperless Reporting

Particle Technology Labs is pleased to announce that starting in early April, all final reports will be delivered to our clients digitally using Sharefile®, a file sharing service that securely transfers encrypted documents through an easy to use online portal.
How paperless reporting works.
When your final report is complete, you will receive an email with a link to Sharefile®  where you can log in to view your report instantly. If it is your first time using Sharefile®, you will need to sign up for an account, which is very simple. Just enter your name, company name and email. Once you are signed in, you can download your final report as a PDF document.
Final reports will remain available for download on Sharefile® for thirty days.
Further instructions for using Sharefile® are available by clicking here.

Multiple benefits. 

PTL is excited to deliver reports faster with a more positive environmental impact, while at the same time continuing to provide outstanding service and particle characterization results to our clients.

Visit PTL at the 8th World Congress on Particle Technology April 23rd April 25, 2018

Particle Technology Labs invites you to join us April 23rd through the 25th, 2018 at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Orlando, Florida for the 8th World Congress on Particle Technology.

Held every 4 years since its inception in 1990, the WCPT8 is intended to stimulate discussions on the forefront of research in particle science and technology.
As experts in the field of fine particle technology, we welcome the opportunity to meet with you and discuss questions related to particle size and characterization. Feel free to contact us before the conference to schedule a time to meet during the conference. 630.969.2703.
For more info on the World Congress on Particle Technology itself, please visit

Not Attending?

If you are unable to attend WCPT8, please reach out to us to discuss your particle size and characterization needs.

New Chemisorption Instrument at Particle Technology Labs

New at PTL – 3Flex Surface and Catalyst Characterization

Particle Technology Labs is pleased to announce the installation of our newest advanced instrument, the Micromeritics 3Flex Surface Characterization Analyzer.
The 3Flex instrument is capable of high-performance chemisorption and physisorption (mesopore and micropore) analyses with superior accuracy, resolution, and data reduction.
PTL’s model, the Micromeritics 3Flex Chemi TCD, has wide-ranging capabilities for various chemisorption methods. This includes isothermal methods (static volumetric, and dynamic or pulse chemisorption) as well as temperature programmed methods (temperature-programmed reduction or TPR, temperature-programmed oxidation or TPO, and temperature-programmed desorption or TPD). Furthermore, our instrument can also utilize an organic vapor source as the probe molecules (e.g., pyridine, isopropyl amine, methanol, etc.) in addition to standard gases (e.g., ammonia, H2, CO, etc.) most commonly used in various chemisorption analyses.
Chemisorption measurements are important for surface characterization of catalysts used in several industries including oil and gas (e.g. petroleum refining, syngas conversions, biofuel production, fuel cells), petrochemicals, fine chemicals (e.g. hydrogen production, polymers and plastics production), environmental (e.g. automotive catalytic converters, green chemistry), and many others.
Chemical adsorption, or chemisorption, is a process resulting from a chemical bond between adsorbate molecules and specific surface locations on a material, known as active sites. This interaction is much stronger than physical adsorption, or physisorption, which takes place on all surfaces if temperature and pressure conditions are favorable. Chemisorption only occurs on clean active sites and, unlike physisorption, ceases when the adsorbate can no longer make direct contact with the surface, making chemisorption a single layer process.
Chemisorption measurement techniques are useful for evaluating physical and chemical properties of materials that are critical for process / reaction performance. Primarily, chemisorption is used to evaluate the number of available active sites to increase the rate of, or catalyze, chemical reactions. Other properties can include the (reduction or oxidation) temperature at which catalysts become active, strength of specific types of active sites, or ability of materials to perform after reduction/oxidation cycles.
To read more about chemisorption, click here.
ASTM D4824, D3908
Analyses Offered

Chemisorption Tests:

  • Volumetric Chemisorption analysis
  • Dynamic or Pulse Chemisorption analysis
  • Pulse Chemisorption using liquid vapors
Temperature-Programmed Studies:
  • Temperature-Programmed Reduction (TPR)
  • Temperature-Programmed Desorption (TPD)
  • Temperature-Programmed Oxidation (TPO)
Other Chemisorption Experiments:
  • Heat of Desorption, first order Kinetics
  • Isosteric Heat of Adsorption

Particle Technology Labs’ Director of Analytical Services Gives Presentation in Amsterdam

Particle Technology Labs’ Executive Vice President and Director of Analytical Services William K. Kopesky just returned from the Netherlands where he was one of three presenters at The Center for Professional Advancement’s course entitled, Powders: Their Properties and Processing. The three-day event took place December 11th through December 13th, 2017, in Amsterdam.

The primary purpose of the course was 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 was designed for those in product development, the event was attended by scientists, suppliers and technologists.

During the three day course, Mr. Kopesky presented on the following topics:

In his first session, Characterization of Powder Particle Size and Shape, Mr. Kopesky provided insight regarding particle size analysis, distributions and their presentation, and particle shape characterization.

In his second session, Characterization of Particle Surface and Pores, he covered surface area by BET and pore size distribution measurement by both gas physisorption and mercury porosimetry.

In his third and final session, Fine Particle Characterization, dynamic light scattering (photon correlation spectroscopy), zeta potential and flocculation/agglomeration were covered.

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.

For further information about CfPA, click here

To learn more about Particle Technology Labs, click here

Evolution of Particle Characterization Instrumentation Advancing Test Methods for Upgraded Instrumentation

by Rebecca Wolfrom

Over time, advancements in technology have led to changes in many aspects of our lives. These advancements include improvements to tried-and-true scientific instruments, including those in the science of particle characterization.

Academic research continues to hone theories, and in turn the theories are built into software codes, hardware configurations, and even CFR Part 11 compliance programming. This means the instruments used while establishing a test method may be superseded by a newer model. In some fields, this may have a minimal effect on test results. But in particle characterization, it can mean significant differences in sensitivity, detection range, sample handling, or other factors. Any of these could mean a change in result relative to your specification – and no one likes surprises when it comes to meeting a specification.

This is where Particle Technology Labs comes in. At PTL, we’ve used particle characterization instrumentation all day, every day, for over 25 years. This translates to a high level of familiarity with the different techniques, theories, and upgraded equipment models. We stay up-to-date with the latest offerings from the manufacturers and are here to help with applying your method to the ever-evolving instrumentation.

Manufacturers can make a multitude of changes to their hardware in a single model upgrade. Such changes can include extended detection ranges, reconfigured flow paths, increased sensitivity, modified data capture rates, and automated sequences, to name just a few. While these features are often marketed as user-friendly benefits, they can present challenges when a body of work has already been established using a prior model. Some of the most interesting projects at PTL are those where the chemists investigate the effects of the new settings on the results and experiment until the puzzle is solved.

To meet the challenge presented by new instrument models, PTL first conducts internal studies to establish statistical equivalency between the legacy and new instrument model using reference materials. Each resulting report is available upon request to clients who are evaluating the need to make a move. Since the equivalency is demonstrated using model materials only, it is important to evaluate the results specific to the client’s own material. To do so, we first perform exploratory work to experimentally translate instrument settings from legacy to new model, and then we can add replicate testing to build confidence in the new method before it becomes routinely used. The scope of work is customizable to fit the client’s requirements.

PTL typically offers three levels of instrument model related method upgrades to choose from, at three different cost structures:

• A protocol-driven method transfer with repeat testing includes preliminary evaluation of the existing legacy method on the new instrument model, replicate analyses using the new method, statistical evaluation of the results with a comparison to historic method results if available, a copy of the new method, and a protocol and report both formally edited and approved by the client and PTL. The scope of the package is adjustable according to client need.

• A non-protocol-driven method change with repeat testing would include all of the above, but in place of the collaboratively reviewed protocol and report the client receives a PTL-generated standard report of analysis.

• A non-protocol-driven method change would include one analysis using the new instrument method based on PTL SOPs and scientific judgement and a PTL-generated standard report of analysis.

In all cases, the new method aims to maintain the same sample preparation procedures as employed in the legacy method (unless justified and approved by the client), but it adapts instrument settings as appropriate for the new hardware. If the legacy instrument is available at PTL, side-by-side analyses on both instrument models may be performed. Throughout the method change process, PTL standard operating procedures for both instrument operation and method revisions are upheld.

Do keep in mind that if a manufacturer has developed a new instrument model, it will only be a matter of time before the legacy model is removed from their maintenance and support plans. As such, PTL too will have to retire it. As a result, the original method cannot be sustained long-term. We make every effort to contact clients who are affected by these instrument retirements. We want to work with you to make the method change as smooth and scientifically supported as possible.

Contact Particle Technology Labs for more information.

New Advanced Particle Characterization Instrument at Particle Technology Labs

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; the Malvern (Sysmex) FPIA-3000.
Many times, particle size distribution analysis provides sufficient information about sample material. However, in cases where the shape of raw material particles can affect performance and quality of the end product, more detailed information may be needed. For these applications, automated image analysis provides thorough and accurate particle shape characteristic measurements.

With the ability to analyze tens of thousands of particles per second, this state-of-the-art automated imaging instrument not only measures particle size, but also defines and characterizes particle shape to report detailed variation in particulate.

While instruments such as laser diffractors size particles, it sees them only as spherical. Automated imaging instrumentation has the ability to not only size particles, but also detect and enumerate agglomerates, oversized particles and contaminant particles. It can measure the size of non-spherical particles such as needle-shaped crystals, providing length and width measurements, and can detect physical properties such as transparency. It can also differentiate between individual components within a mixture.

Automated imaging works by using a high-resolution digital camera to capture images of dispersed sample particulate. 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.

Our newest system, the Malvern (Sysmex) FPIA-3000 provides a robust statistical measurement of particles in a sample as a whole. Compared to manual microscopy, automated imaging analyzes a larger amount of sample in a shorter amount of time, reducing operator subjectivity. This leads to more reliable and accurate results.

This new instrument joins PTL’s advanced particle characterization automated imaging instrument, the Malvern Morphologi G3 system. Visit our Image Analysis page on our website for more information.

PTL Receives ACIL Customer Quality Service Award for its Fifth Consecutive Year

PTL is proud to receive the ACIL Customer Quality Service Award for the fifth consecutive year.

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.
Any testing laboratory who wants to be recognized as a participating laboratory must maintain proof of an annual ethics training and an early detection system for questionable analytical practices, submit a signed code of ethics and distribute satisfaction surveys to their customers.
The participants have committed to a uniform code of ethics and Customer Survey data for comparison to other participants.  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 qualify into this program. Thank you to all our customers who provided honest feedback regarding our particle characterization services.

Q & A with Shane Hill of PTL’s Method Services Department

The method services business has grown significantly in recent years. PTL is pleased to provide these services to form stronger relationships with our pharmaceutical clients and help them achieve their goals.

At the helm of PTL’s validation department is Shane Hill, Methods Compliance Assistant Manager. Shane took time from his schedule to answer a few questions about the method services available at PTL.

shane1. What are method developments, method validations, and method transfers, and what does each entail?

A method development is a process whereby an analytical procedure is created for a specified sample type. Clients will either submit a sample with no established test document or they will provide a nominal procedure that covers a given characterization technique (particle size, surface area, etc.), and PTL will tailor the method through detailed evaluations. A design of experiments (DOE) is then undertaken, during which several method parameters are investigated for their significance in affecting the results. The DOE data are processed via statistical software; the method is updated to incorporate the optimized settings and a proof of concept is executed to demonstrate precision of the new method.

A method validation is a process which is ideally initiated following varying degrees of method development. Validations are intended to demonstrate that an analytical procedure is suitable for a given sample type. For physical analyses, the testing typically consists of accuracy, precision, and robustness. Accuracy serves to illustrate the trueness of the data within the specified range of interest. Precision demonstrates repeatability of generated data; often validation studies at PTL examine precision across multiple days, chemists, and instruments for a comprehensive comparison. Robustness evaluates the impact of small method variations on the final results.  Data are compared against USP acceptance criteria and/or client-provided specifications, as well as processed via statistical software which reports means, equivalencies, and comparative variability.

A method transfer acts as a precision study between instruments, such as when an older generation instrument is retired and a test method requires transferring to a newer generation instrument, or between laboratories. PTL has extensive experience with both scenarios.  Typically, testing is conducted concurrently across instruments/laboratories, and the data are compared against acceptance criteria. Accuracy is often included as a measure of system suitability.

Across all our method services, PTL follows industry and regulatory guidances in the development and execution of the testing.

2.  How long, on average, does each service take to complete?

Method developments take about 3-4 weeks to complete, from initial evaluation to reporting. Method validations take about 4-6 weeks (depending on the inclusion of robustness and sample difficulty). Method transfers take about 3-4 weeks to complete, from protocol creation to reporting.

3. How does each service benefit the client?

Foremost, PTL’s method services help our clients comply with the FDA’s cGMP regulations.  A robust method development ensures that the analytical procedure provides optimized, linear data for the sample material. Method validations benefit our clients by allowing a test procedure to undergo several levels of precision testing to ensure correlation across several variables, such as days, chemists, and instruments. If robustness is evaluated, then there is the added benefit of demonstration of an optimized method. Method transfers allow a test method to seamlessly be updated to a newer, more efficient particle characterization instrument or to PTL if the transfer is from an outside laboratory.

4. Are there any related services that we offer?

In addition to developments, validations, and transfers, PTL also offers method verifications. Often clients will require a test procedure to be verified against a USP Chapter or Monograph; PTL will design a protocol that includes references to the USP guidelines and will perform the verification testing accordingly. Most often this testing includes a repeatability evaluation, but can include more elements depending on the USP Chapter or Monograph involved.

To read more about how PTL’s method services can benefit you, click here.

“We have been working with PTL’s Methods Service Department for many years and the client service has always been great in terms of technical knowledge, answering e-mails promptly, and quick turnaround of quotations and method transfer reports.”  – Rajat Gandhi of CPL, Ltd.