Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Ivan Rivera-Torres




TITLE: Pharma CSI: A Hypothetical Case Study Incident During Recombinant Insulin Production that Requires Forensic Chemical Analysis.

ABSTRACT: Analysis of atypical particles discovered during the synthesis and manufacturing processes of medical drugs in pharmaceutical companies is essential to determine if such particles are inert and harmless, or whether it is harmful contamination.  In this seminar, we will analyze a hypothetical case involving unknown particles that were discovered during the production of a batch of recombinant human insulin.  As chemists assigned to a chemical forensic laboratory in industry, we will use a battery of analytical techniques: optical microscopy; scanning electron microscopy; X-ray microanalysis; Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy; and Attenuated Total Reflectance to elucidate the chemical structure that is present in the particles.  We are also under time constraints to identify the particles, as the batch of insulin vials is scheduled for release within just a few days.  If we fail to identify the chemical structure of the particles and a contaminated batch is delivered, a community health hazard occurs, or if the particles are inert and the batch is safe, but the batch is not released as scheduled, the supply for diabetics may be limited, accompanied by significant financial losses. We must get it right and the clock is ticking!

September 15, 2021 @ 3:40PM