Researchers at Merck & Co. are studying how the choice of solvent can change the shape of what crystalizes out of solution. Working with a small molecule pharmaceutical compound, the false-color images here show that stacked hexagonal platelets formed from an ethyl acetate-toluene solution (right), whereas an isopropanol solution produced stacked rhombus plates. Top and bottom rows show the formations from different angles. These seemingly small differences can have a big impact when the molecule is formulated into a pill, tablet, or other deliverable therapy.
Submitted by Billy Chen, Luke Schenck, Zhiwei Yin, and Alfred Y. Lee
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