23 May 2016

FTIR in the news

Infrared spectroscopy is increasingly at the forefront of delicate sample analysis methods this year. We take a look at some examples of this method in May 2016.

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Non-destructive cell imaging

It is difficult to analyze the behaviour of live cells as they perform particular chemical processes, without interfering with the sample cell.

The Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London recently published Attenuated total reflection Fourier-transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) imaging of tissues and live cells. The article highlights how chemical processes that include cell differentation and cell division, along with the diffusion of drugs into live cells, can not only be analysed but tracked without damaging the cell.

How is this done? With ATR FTIR spectroscopy. The research group is led by Sir George Stokes award-winner Professor Sergei Kazarian. The professor is featured in the video below, reviewing the Pearl FTIR transmission spectrometer accessory at the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Read more on this story here.

Detect ulcerative colitis

Similar to Crohn's disease, UC is a debilitating illness which leads to the inflammation and ulceration of the bowel and colon.

ATR IR spectroscopy has been found effective in detecting the disease in the blood serum of mice. If repeatable with the serum of humans, this may be the least invasive and most cost-effective method of UC detection yet.

Unil Perera, a Regents' Professor of Physics and researcher at the Center for Nano-Optics at Georgia State, said "this rapid, simple, cost-effective and minimally invasive technique could be further developed into a personalized diagnostic tool that would assess disease status based on an individual's molecular composition and allow for personalized diagnosis and drug management."

Read more on the story here.

Conserving Australia's first map

The first map of what was once referred to as New Holland was unearthed in Sweden six years ago. It is 350 years old and a priceless piece of the country's history.

The map will eventually be delivered to the National Library of Australia in Canberra. However it is currently being treated at the University of Melbourne.

Expert analysts are using FTIR spectroscopy to analyse the varnish and paint-binder of the map and measure the level and kind of chemical degradation than has taken place over the past three-and-a-half centuries.

Melzer, of the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Material Conservation, said "derived from copper and typically exposed to wine vapors to achieve its vibrant color, verdigris is chemically unstable and has darkened and corroded the surrounding paper, eating through it entirely in some places."

For more information on how FTIR spectroscopy can be useful for various applications, check out our application notes on the Quest ATR spectrometer accessory page including pharmaceuticals and polymers.