A large variety of analytical techniques are available to meet the needs of characterization of solid samples. But, when solid drug delivery systems are concerned we are faced with demanding methodologies which have to compile capabilities of analytical techniques in regard to large diversity of structures and surface functionality of analyzed adsorbent carriers. In this review, the most commonly used analytical techniques are presented with their basic principles, advantages and disadvantages in applications of interest. Adsorbent carriers are widely used today as ingredients in the formulation of pharmaceutical forms, for increasing the dissolution rate of the drug and hence the bioavailability. They are also used in the formulation of substances with modified or target drug release into a specific tissue. Methods of thermal analysis (Thermogravimetry - TGA, Differential Scanning Calorimetry - DSC and Thermal microscopy - TM), spectroscopic methods (Infrared Spectroscopy - IR, especially Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy - FTIR and Raman spectroscopy), crystallographic methods (Powder X-Ray Diffraction - PXRD) and finally Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) are the most powerful in the characterization of modern therapeutic systems with porous adsorbents. The problem-solving power of each particular analytical method is often enhanced by using simultaneous methods rather than a single technique.
Keywords: Thermal analysis, TA, Infrared Spectroscopy, IR, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, FTIR, Raman spectroscopy, Powder X-Ray Diffraction, PXRD, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and drug dissolution.