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Whilst the major components of food are usually non-fluorescent, many minor food components that affect its nutritive, compositional and technological quality are fluorescent. Given its sensitivity, ease of use and non-destructive nature, this makes it useful in many applications around monitoring food processing and in fundamental food research.
Fluorescence spectroscopy has been used to study the ancient pigment, Egyptian blue.
Edinburgh Instruments have installated one of their top end fluorescence spectroscopy systems at the brand new Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology (VISTEC) in Thailand. VISTEC is funded by PPT, a petroleum company, with the aim of producing high impact research publications in the science and technology field. The University has invested heavily in state of the art scientific facilities and recruited some of the best professors and researchers, including NRCT Research Award and Outstanding Scientist Award winners.
The FLS980 Fluorescence Spectrometer and the LP980 Transient Absorption Spectrometer will be used to investigate and improve the efficiency and photochemical characteristics of organic solar cell technology. The group researchers are aiming to reduce global consumption and dependence on fossil fuels through improving the overall light-collection efficiency and simplify the manufacture of this type of organic solar cell.
Andor Technology has launched the Zyla 4.2 PLUS Scientific CMOS (sCMOS) camera offering a sCMOS QE profile maximising at 82%.
PicoQuant has released a new version of the system software EasyTau for the FluoTime 300.
This product focus is on Molecular Spectroscopy.
Shimadzu has introduced the RF-6000 spectrofluorophotometer.
Automated detection of counterfeit drugs using multimodal spectroscopy and advanced web-based software platforms
In the Tony Davies Column, we learn about “Automated detection of counterfeit drugs using multimodal spectroscopy and advanced web-based software platforms”. With the increase in trafficking of counterfeit medicines and other products, there is a need for definitive results from an on-site analyser useable by customs officers. The German authorities have commissioned the development of a multi-modal, transportable inspection system, including intelligent data processing and evaluation, for fast spectroscopic recognition of illicit drugs and counterfeit medicines. This is described in the column.
Application of Raman and photoluminescence spectroscopy for identification of uranium minerals in the environment
The “Application of Raman and photoluminescence spectroscopy for identification of uranium minerals in the environment” is described by Eric Faulques, Florian Massuyeau, Nataliya Kalashnyk and Dale Perry. Uranium forms a large number of compounds and complexes, and these are most helpful in the study of uranium, its chemistry and transport in the environment. Raman and photoluminescence spectroscopy provide complementary information and are powerful tools for direct speciation of uranium and identification of natural uranyl minerals relevant to the environment.
Orthogonal spectroscopic techniques for the early developability assessment of therapeutic protein candidates
Orthogonal spectroscopic techniques for the early developability assessment of therapeutic protein candidates” are described by Patrick Garidel, Anne Karow and Michaela Blech. Due to its cost and time implications, in the early development phase of drug discovery the use of othogonal techniques, based on different physical observables, is important for correct decision-making.
Praveen Ashok and Kishan Dholakia of St Andrews University, UK, describe the scope of optofluidic devices that can be implemented using the waveguide confined Raman spectroscopy (WCRS) technique they have developed. I am particularly impressed by the sample size of whisky shown in Figure 2—true Scottish style!
Horiba Scientific has incorporated the SuperK Extreme line of white-light lasers from NKT Photonics into its line of spectrofluorometers. Under the agreement, Horiba has fully integrated the lasers into its hardware and software and will sell the combined product as a fully supported system globally.
The LifeSpec II is a compact, fully integrated, high-performance fluorescence lifetime spectrometer designed for use with high-repetition rate pulsed femtosecond, picosecond and supercontinuum lasers. The system is a fully-automated solution, combining hardware and software in a single package for fundamental research and routine laboratory applications. It is compatible with TCSPC techniques and enables digital counting to reduce background noise, real-time direct measurement and observation and the extraction of long and short-lifetimes with large and small amplitudes from a single measurement. Features include a temporally subtractive double monochromator which provides spectral resolution while eliminating the effect of temporal dispersion, advanced software for controlling the instrument and enabling ultra-fast data acquisition with data acquisition modes which range from fluorescence decay and time-resolved spectra through to automated time-resolved anisotropy measurements and temperature maps. The standard configuration is supplied with one detector but a configuration with two detectors can be specified on purchase. At least one picosecond pulsed diode laser, pulsed LED or Ti:Sapphire laser is required for operation.
In the pharmaceutical industry, biologicals are of increasing interest due to their high therapeutic benefits. Amongst many other questions, the stability of new canditates is of great importance. Patrick Garidel describes this in “Right angle light scattering protein thermostability screening: from research to development”. The ability of this and other fluorescence-based techniques to detect very small quantities is of great benefit.
A large number of illnesses stem from misfolded proteins, molecules composed of amino acids. Researchers at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, have now studied protein misfolding using a special spectroscopic technique— single-molecule fluorescence. Misfolding, as they report in Nature, is more frequent if the sequence of the amino acids in the neighbouring protein domains is very similar.
This second Product Focus is on Molecular Spectroscopy, and a number of companies have provided information on their key products, their applications and features.
The eyes of sheep infected with scrapie—a neurological disorder similar to mad cow disease—return an intense, almost-white glow when they're illuminated with blue excitation light, according to a research project led by Iowa State University's Jacob Petrich.
Biomedical engineers are developing a hand-held device called a SpectroPen that could help surgeons see the edges of tumours in human patients in real time during surgery. Statistics indicate that complete removal, or resection, is the single most important predictor of patient survival for most solid tumours.