Acoustics is one of the emerging technologies developed to minimize processing, maximize quality and ensure the safety of pharmaceutical, food and chemical products. The operating principle of acoustic spectroscopy is the measurement of the ultrasound pulse intensity and phase after its propagation through a sample. The main goal of this technique is to characterise concentrated colloidal dispersions without dilution, in such a way as to be able to analyse non-transparent and even highly structured systems. This review presents the state of the art of ultrasound-based techniques in pharmaceutical pre-formulation and formulation steps, showing their potential, applicability and limits. It reports in a simplified version the theory behind acoustic spectroscopy, describes the most common equipment on the market, and finally overviews different studies performed on systems and materials used in the pharmaceutical or related fields.
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