Journal of Healthcare Engineering

Image Analysis and Processing in Pharmaceutical Science

Publishing date
01 Jul 2021
Submission deadline
12 Mar 2021

1Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland

2University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland

3Università della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Naples, Italy

This issue is now closed for submissions.
More articles will be published in the near future.

Image Analysis and Processing in Pharmaceutical Science

This issue is now closed for submissions.
More articles will be published in the near future.


With the development of photonics, in particular detector matrices or optical fibres, imaging methods have been increasingly applicable in the analysis of dosage forms. Commonly used methods of chemical analysis, such as liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, or spectroscopic methods, provide information on the qualitative and quantitative composition of a drug, but in relation to its entire form, e.g. a tablet. The use of imaging methods allows for the quantitative study of dosage forms, including the analysis of the distribution of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and excipients with respect to the surface and/or volume of a dosage form.

The development of non-invasive imaging methods in the analysis of dosage forms is also stimulated by the institutions and bodies responsible for supervising the quality of drugs, including the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the US Agency for Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The EMA proposes the concept of Quality by Design (QbD) introduced by the International Conference on Harmonization (ICH), which is to ensure the highest quality of drugs through a thorough understanding of all aspects of the manufacture of medicinal products. In turn, the FDA proposes a concept of process analytical technology (PAT), where the interpretation of good manufacturing practice (GMP) is aimed at ensuring the quality of products on the basis of the broader risk analysis, whose aim is to identify those elements of manufacturing systems which may significantly affect the quality of the drug produced. Both documents favour the methods of dosage form analysis that ensure the supervision of the final product and production processes that use non-destructive, rapid, and accurate analytical techniques allowing for identification of drug parameters in a two or three-dimensional space.

This Special Issue will publish original research and review articles on the fundamental and applied research aspects of engineering involved in the development of image analysis with processing methods in pharmaceutical sciences.

Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Characterization of particle sizes and distribution in drugs using digital image information
  • Hyperspectral imaging in pharmaceutical sciences
  • 3D imaging for drug analysis
  • Counterfeit drugs identification with image analysis methods
  • Atomic force microscopy, terahertz imaging, thermography, and MRI imaging for drug analysis
  • Quantitative image analysis: software systems in drug development
  • Image processing and analysis in drug discovery and clinical trials
  • Deep learning for drug image analysis
  • Machine learning and image-based profiling in drug discovery
  • Chemical imaging of pharmaceuticals
Journal of Healthcare Engineering
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Article of the Year Award: Outstanding research contributions of 2020, as selected by our Chief Editors. Read the winning articles.