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Technical Glossaries




Guns and Ammo

Microbiology Glossary

Optical Microsopy

--- German/English
Pharmaceutical glossary: German / English

German/English pharmaceutical dictionaries are scarce, and the field changes rapidly. I have attempted to list here some terms fairly specific to pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical production and testing. The list is necessarily limited, and does not attempt to cover terms found in chemical or medical dictionaries, or the microbiology glossary on this Web site, unless there is a meaning specific for pharmaceuticals. Remember that no one is perfect - if one of these definitions seems wrong, it may well be wrong. Note that many abbreviations in German documents are of English terms

Abbauprodukt Degradation product
Abflussrohr Drain pipe
Abklatschplatte RODAC plate; contact plate; replica plate (microbiology)
Ablaufdatum Expiration date (end of stability period)
Ablauffrist Stability period; maximum storage time
Abluft Exhaust air (as from a fermentor)
Abriebfest Abrasion-resistant(tablet)
Abwasser Wastewater(drain, sewer)
Analysenwaage Analytical balance (limit ca. 100 g) See note below
Aromastoff Flavoring
Arzneiform Dosage form(e. g., a tablet or capsule)
Arzneimittel Drug preparation
Arzneimittelwirkung (Adverse) drug reaction (as well as the ‘literal drug effect’)
Arzneistoff Drug substance
Aspekt Appearance
ätherisches Öl Essential oil
Auflösungszeit Dissolution time
Ausschlusskriterien Exclusion criteria (in a clinical trial)
Autoklavierband Autoclave tape; used on materials to be autoclaved; black letters “Sterile” appear after autoclaving
Beipackzettel Patient package insert (PPI)
BFM; Biofeuchtmass Wet biomass
Bindemittel Binder, binding agent (for tablets)
biologische Verfügbarkeit Bioavailability
Bodenventil Bottom valve; base valve
Bodenzahl Number of (theoretical) plates (for a chromatograph column)
Bördelkappe Crimp cap (on a vial, usually aluminum)
Bördelöffner Decapper
Bördelzange Crimper; cap crimper
Bruchkerbe Score (notch) on a tablet for breaking
Charge Lot, batch
CIP Clean(ing) in place
Dampfbehandlung Steam treatment; steaming
Dosier Aerosol Metered-dose inhaler
Dosierung Dosage (to a patient); strength (of a tablet or capsule)
Dragee Sugar-coated tablet
Dragierkessel Coating pan
Druckentlastung Pressure release; depressurization
Druckfestigkeit Hardness (of a tablet)
einfüllen To fill, or to transfer; perhaps to add
Einschlusskriterien Inclusion criteria (in a clinical trial)
Einwaage Initial weight; amount added to a reactor
Einweg- Disposable
Einwiegemenge Amount to be weighed in (to a reactor, fermentor, etc.
Einwilligungserklärung Informed consent (signed statement)
EP Europäisches Arzneibuch European Pharmacopeia
Erntebrei Harvest broth (from a fermentor)
Etiketten Labels.
Etikettenbilanz / -bilanzierung Label accounting. All finished product labels printed must be accounted for as applied to the product, attached to the record, or destroyed.
EU Entotoxin Unit(s)
Extinktion Absorbance (spectrophotometry)
Facettenrand Beveled edge of a tablet
Falcon Brand name of plastic products
Fertig- Ready for use
Filterintegritätstest Filter integrity test (typically measures resistance to flow of air under pressure)
Filterkerze, Filterpatrone Filter cartridge or filter candle
Freigabe, freigeben Release for further processing or for marketing; Release of active ingredient from a tablet or capsule
Freigabeschein Release certificate
Galenische Refers to the ancient physician, Galen. Usually “pharmaceutical” or “pharmacological”; Formulation
Gehalt Content; may be used to mean Purity
Gehaltseinheitlichkeit Content uniformity
GMP Good Manufacturing Practice
Granulat Granulation (mixture of ingredients prepared for tabletting)
GW gereinigt Wasser Purified water
Haltbarkeit Stability; storability
Herstellungsvorschrift Master formula (production procedure)
HETP Height of an equivalent theoretical plate (column chromatography)
Hilfsstoff Excipient
Induktion Induction (addition of a substance that “induces” production of a desired product)(microbiology)
in-line In-line. Refers to analytical measurements of material (especially liquids) in the production line rather than taking samples to the laboratory for analysis
IPA Isopropyl alcohol
Ist Is; but often means “Actual” in comparison with a “Soll” or “target” value
Istwert Actual value (compared with target value or set point)
Kampagne Campaign; production of a series of lots
KBE (koloniebildende Einheit) CFU (colony-forming unit) (microbiology)
Kern Core (of a coated tablet)
Konservierungsmittel Preservative
Kontrolle Check; inspection; examination; occasionally “control”
Kontrollunterschrift Check (or verification) signature
künstliche Darmsaft Simulated intestinal fluid
künstliche Magensaft Simulated gastric fluid
Lagertank Holding tank
Lagerungszeit (Maximum allowed) storage time
LAL Limulus amebocyte lysate (test for pyrogens (bacterial endotoxins))
Laminarflow May refer to a laminar flow workbench or the like; perhaps even a laminar flow clean room
Lauge Lye (sodium hydroxide) (solid or solution); alkaline solution; Liquor
Leitfähigkeit Conductivity (electrical) of a solution
LF Laminar flow; but sometimes Leitfähigkeit
LIMS Laboratory information management system
Luftzufuhr Air input
Magenfest Resistant to stomach conditions; typically “enteric-coated”
Membranpump Diaphragm pump
Metrohm A Swiss instrument manufacturer
Mettler A US instrument manufacturer
Mitarbeiter Operator (of production equipment); technician; employee
Musternahme Sampling; sample collection; taking a sample
Nachbereitung Post-processing
Nutzwasser Process water; service water
Oberflächenbelüftung Surface aeration
Oberschalenwaage Top-loading balance (see note below)
optische Dichte (OD) Literally “Optical density“. That is still the term for photographic film, but for spectrophotometric measurements the accepted term in the US is Absorbance (A). A subscript will indicate the wavelength for the measurement.
PEG Polyethylene glycol
PEGylation PEGylation: addition of a PEG chain to a product, usually a genetically engineered product
pH-Korrektur pH adjustment
pH-Sonde A pH ‘probe’ that is inserted into a reactor or fermenter (not just the electrode pair that might be used in a beaker)
pH-Wert pH value, literally, but usually just “pH” in US usage
PPG Polypropylene glycol
Protokoll Procedure; Record; often both, as in a Herstellungsprotokoll which specifies individual steps of the procedure, that are signed off, when done, as a record that they have been done.
Protokollblatt Record sheet
Prüfbogen Case report form (clinical trial)
Qualität Quality; for a chemical, Grade, or Purity. Note that designations of grades such as Chemically Pure are not very meaningful without data on limits of impurities.
Reinigen; Reinigung Clean(ing); Purify, purification. Careful! A piece of equipment is cleaned, while a product is purified.
Reinst Highest purity (not very meaningful without statement of limits of impurities)
Reinstdampf Clean steam; high-purity steam
rezeptflichtige Prescription required
Rotrandfilter Red ribbon filter (apparently a type designation by Schleicher & Schüll)
Rückhaltemuster Retained sample
Rückhalteprobe Retained sample
Schlauchquetschpumpe Peristaltic pump
Schleuse Lock (air lock) for transferring material into and out of a clean room or the like
schliff- May indicate ‘ground glass’; e. g., Erlenmeyerschliffkolben: an Erlenmeyer flask with a ground-glass stopper
Schüttelkolb Shake flask (for microbial culture)
Schwerwiegendes unwerwünschtes Ereignis Severe adverse event (clinical trial)
SET Systemeignungstest System suitability test; a test to make sure that an analytical system (especially a chromatograph) is capable of performing a particular analysis.
Silikonschlauch / Siliconschlauch Silicone hose (not silicon)
SIP Sterilize/Sterilization in place
Sollwert, Sollgewicht Target value; desired value; set-point for a controller; in some cases, theoretical value
sperren Block; often Quarantine, in the sense of not using or selling a material until it has passed all the required tests
Stamm Strain (of microorganism)
Stamm- Stock, as a stock culture or stock solution
Standmuster Retained sample; reserved sample
Stempel Punch, or die, in a tabletting machine
Stickstoffüberlagerung Nitrogen blanket(ing)
Stufenausbeute Stage (step) yield
Überschaumen Foaming over
unerwünschtes Ereignis Adverse event (clinical trial)
USP United States Pharmacopeia
Verfallsdatum Expiration date
vermehrungsfähig Viable (microorganisms)
Verträglichkeit Tolerance for a drug in the sense of absence of bad effects; acceptability;
Visum Identifier (initials/signature) indicating that someone has “seen” a process; perhaps “Checked by”
Vorfermenter Prefermenter (used to grow inoculum for the main fermenter)
Vorlage Often a quantity of water or solvent added to a reactor before solid reagents are added
Vorschrift Procedure
Waage Scale (for weighing) (see note below)
Weichgelatinkapsel Soft gelatin capsule
WFI Water for Injection
Wirksamkeit Efficacy, activity
WP Water, purified; PW; purified water
z. A. zur Analysis Analytical grade (needs statement of limits of impurities)
Zellernte Cell harvest
Zellfeuchtgewicht Wet weight of cells
Zelltrockengewicht Dry weight of cells

Waagen, balances and scales:

A "balance" was originally an equal-arm balance, with a pan hanging from the end of each arm. The item to be weighed was placed on one pan, and "balanced" by adding known weights to the other pan, or, for very small weights, along one arm. Such a balance was typically inside a wooden case with glass windows to avoid air currents, and was used in a chemical laboratory to weigh items of up to about 100 grams to a precision of about 0.0001 g. It was often called an "analytical balance". A long pointer at the center of the beam was used to determine "balance", usually defined as the condition in which the pointer would swing equally far to each side of center. The center of the beam had a "knife-edge", such as an agate prism sitting on a hard plate. Careful handling was required to avoid chipping the knife-edge.

The "torsion balance" had the beam supported on a metal ribbon which twisted somewhat when the system was out of balance. It was not usually enclosed, and was not as sensitive.

Other weighing instruments, not "equal arm" were often also called balances. The typical example was the triple-beam balance, which had a pan on which the item being weighed was placed, and three calibrated 'beams' along which weights were slid to bring the system to balance. Such a balance might have one beam calibrated at 100 gram intervals up to 1000 grams, another beam at 10-gram intervals up to 100 g, and the third beam calibrated in grams and tenths of grams.

More recently, the "equal arm" principle has been more or less abandoned even for analytical balances, with known weights added mechanically inside the balance case. They were still called "balances", but with only one pan used, these became known as "single-pan" balances. The 'balance' condition was indicated by a scale projected on a ground-glass window on the front. "Analytical" types usually have a glass case with sliding windows for adding materials. "Top-loaders" are used for higher weights up to a few kilograms.

Still more recently, the concept of 'balance' has changed from a mechanical balance to electrically balancing the weight of the sample. These balances typically provide a digital display of the weight. They look much like the single-pan balances mentioned above.

Microbalances for weighing very small loads once were made using a quartz fiber with the sample hung at the end. The deflection of the fiber was read against a scale calibrated with known weights. They have largely been replaced by electrobalances ("Cahn" was an early model).

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