Interview of the Month

Using SERS to Study How Cells Respond to Pharmaceuticals

Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) has made significant progress in recent years (1), and its application to biomedical studies is of particular interest. Colin Campbell of the University of Edinburgh is taking the biomedical application of SERS to a new level by using the technique to make spatially resolved measurements in live three-dimensional (3D) cell cultures to determine the response to drugs during drug discovery operations. For this work, Campbell received a FACSS Innovation Award at the SciX 2015 conference last October. This interview is part of the Spectroscopy–SciX interview series.


A Process for Successful Infrared Spectral Interpretation

By Brian C. Smith

A 12-step program to help you be more successful at interpreting IR spectra

Advancing the Application of NIR Spectroscopy

By Spectroscopy Editors

Although near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy is not a particularly sensitive technique, it can be implemented with little or no sample preparation and thus is well suited to applications such as process monitoring, materials science, and medical uses. We asked a panel of experts to comment on important current applications of NIR, as well as emerging new areas of application and the challenges involved in those newer applications.

In Situ FTIR Analysis of Soils for Forensic Applications

By A.H. Jean Robertson, Angela M. Main, Lucinda J. Robinson, Lorna A. Dawson

Although handheld FT-IR spectrometers now make it possible to carry out field-based FT-IR analysis of soils at a crime scene, reliable and tested protocols are not yet available for such work. Here, we discuss sampling options and describe tests of a methodology that is being eveloped for in situ FT-IR analysis of soil samples.

Using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy to Monitor the Curing Reaction of Silicone Adhesives

By N. Pemberger, L.K.H. Bittner, C. W. Huck

Quality control of silicones used in medicinal implants is challenging, and traditional methods waste a lot of raw material. In this study, NIR spectroscopy has been used to replace the traditional rheometric measurements, with excellent results. The NIR method enables improved quality control and a more economical process.

Applications of Infrared Multiple Angle Incidence Resolution Spectrometry

By David Drapcho, Takeshi Hasegawa

Infrared multiple angle incidence resolution spectroscopy (IR MAIRS) provides a powerful new tool to determine the molecular structure and orientation in a thin film on an IR-transparent substrate. The MAIRS technique replaces a tedious, and sometimes impossible, combination of sample preparation and analysis of identical films on both transparent and reflective substrates.


Raman Mapping of Spectrally Non-Well-Behaved Species

By Fran Adar

A look at maps of a ceramic composite used in the nose cone of the space shuttle.

Combining Raman Imaging, Mass Spectrometry Imaging, and AFM

By Spectroscopy Editors

Imaging techniques using vibrational spectroscopy, MS, and atomic force microscopy have all been advancing and gaining momentum in recent years. There is great potential power in these imaging techniques, particularly in the biomedical field. Here, Thomas Bocklitz of the Friedrich-Schiller- University Jena discusses his work combining these techniques.

The Future of Raman Spectroscopy: The Role of TERS and SERS

By Spectroscopy Editors

Attend any conference covering vibrational spectroscopy, and you will likely hear numerous talks about developments in tip enhanced Raman scattering (TERS) and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). Both approaches hold exciting promise, but face significant challenges as well. We asked a panel of Raman experts about the current and future role of these two approaches.


Overview of High-Efficiency Transmission Gratings for Molecular Spectroscopy

By Thomas Rasmussen

This article provides a basic overview of the capabilities of transmission gratings optimized for molecular spectroscopy.

Scattering Impact Analysis and Correction for Leaf Biochemical Parameter Estimation Using Vis–NIR Spectroscopy

By Qianxuan Zhang, Qingbo Li, Guangjun Zhang

Simulated leaf spectral data were generated to analyze scattering impact and then compared to experimental data to validate the conclusions of the simulation.

An Integration of Modified Uninformative Variable Elimination and Wavelet Packet Transform for Variable Selection

By Di Wu, Xiaojing Chen, Yong He

The wavelet packet transform (WPT) combined with the modified uninformative variable elimination (MUVE) method (WPT–MUVE) is proposed to select variables for multivariate calibration of spectral data.

Analysis of Fructose, Glycine, and Triglycine Using HPLC UV-vis Detection and Evaporative Light-Scattering Detection

By A.B. de Haan, R. Wijntje, H.A.J.M. Bevers

The development of a method for the simultaneous determination of glycine, triglycine and fructose using UV–vis and evaporative light-scattering detection (ELSD) is described. This was necessary as part of a research project dealing with the recovery of functional peptides from aqueous streams on an industrial scale using adsorption or related technologies. Fructose is barely detectable by UV–vis as it lacks detectable functionalities, while glycine and triglycine are both UV–vis sensitive. An NH2 phase was chosen as a column and separation was obtained within seven minutes on a 250 X 4.6 mm column. Limits of detection are approximately 40 mg fructose/L, 4 mg glycine/L and 0.05 mg triglycine/L. Calibration functions are linear in a range of 40–1400 mg/L for fructose, 5–200 mg/L for glycine and 0.5–70 mg/L for triglycine.

Spectroscopy in Space: Hubble and the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph

By Spectroscopy Editors

In an upcoming spacewalk, shuttle astronauts will swap the Corrective Optics Space Telescope Axial Replacement (COSTAR) device for the new Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS).

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Effect of Azimuthal Angle on Infrared Diffuse Reflection Spectra of Fabrics

By Stephanie A. DeJong, Brianna M. Cassidy, Zhenyu Lu, Megan R. Pearl, Jessica N. McCutcheon, Wayne O’Brien, Nicholas D. Boltin, Ray G. Belliveau, Stephen L. Morgan, M. L. Myrick

In forensics, IR can be useful for detecting fluids on fabric. But it is critical to understand the variability in the fabric spectra. In this study, the authors investigate the effect of the sample azimuthal angle variability on the spectra, and present an approach to minimize that effect.

Lineshapes in IR and Raman Spectroscopy: A Primer

By Michael S. Bradley, PhD

The shape of the peaks in infrared (IR) and Raman spectroscopy are often not well understood. Bandshapes largely depend on interactions between vibrating molecules and their environment. An understanding of this relationship can enhance spectral interpretation and can explain unexpected behaviors.

VT-DRIFTS Investigations of Interactions Between Benzoic Acid and Montmorillonite Clay

By Dalia K. Maraoulaite, Tara M. Nickels, Audrey L. Ingram, Robert L. White

This variable-temperature diffuse reflection infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (VTDRIFTS) sample perturbation method is capable of providing detailed functional group–specific information regarding temperature-dependent sample composition changes. The technique is generally applicable for soil adsorbate characterization studies and, therefore, should be useful for elucidating soil transport mechanisms for selected contaminants.


Lora Brehm Joins Spectroscopy’s Editorial Advisory Board

Spectroscopy magazine is pleased to announce the addition of Lora Brehm to its Editorial Advisory Board.

Steve Ray Wins Young Plasma Scientist Award

Steven J. Ray, an assistant professor of chemistry at the State University of New York at Buffalo, received the inaugural Young Plasma Scientist Award today at the Winter Conference on Plasma Spectrochemistry in Tucson, Arizona. The award, judged by an international selection committee and sponsored by Thermo Fisher Scientific, recognizes the work of a scientist no older than 45 years old working in the field of plasma spectrochemistry.

Nico Omenetto Wins 2016 Winter Conference Award in Plasma Spectrochemistry

Nicoló Omenetto, a professor of chemistry at the University of Florida, received the 2016 Winter Conference Award in Plasma Spectrochemistry today at the Winter Conference in Tucson, Arizona.


What Modeling Reveals About the Properties of an Inductively Coupled Plasma

By Spectroscopy Editors

Annemie Bogaerts and Maryam Aghaei of the University of Antwerp, Belgium, are carrying out computational modeling to examine how various properties of the ICP, such as gas flow path lines and ionization effects, are affected by various factors—such as gas flow rates, applied power, and even the very presence of a mass spectrometry sampler. Using their developed model, one can predict optimum conditions for specific analyses.

How to Improve Analytical Figures of Merit of Hard-To-Ionize Elements in ICP-Based Techniques

By Spectroscopy Editors

Matrix effects in ICP-OES and ICP-MS often cause signal suppression, but can lead to signal enhancement as well. Guillermo Grindlay of the University of Alicante, in Spain, discusses his work to better understand under what conditions these matrix effects occur and what mechanisms are involved.

Questioning the Relationship Between Analyte Ion Mass and ICP-MS Matrix Effects

By Spectroscopy Editors

New studies conducted by Shi Jiao and John Olesik at The Ohio State University have important implications for understanding the fundamental causes of matrix effects in ICP-MS, and for the choice of internal standards.

Determining Trace Elements in Edible Oils Using Inductively Coupled Plasma–Optical Emission Spectrometry

By Manuel Almeida, Karolina Carpenter

During the processing of edible oils, the analysis of trace metals, which can promote oxidation, is important. This article presents a study of metals in edible oils using radial-view ICP-OES and discusses the most suitable wavelengths, background correction, and integration times.

Sample Preparation Method for Mercury Analysis in Reagent Chemicals by ICP-OES

By Yogesh Parikh, Samantha Mahmoud, James Lallo, Huifang Lang

This study shows that a direct Au3+ and HCl sample preparation method quickly and simply allows for accurate Hg quantification by ICP-OES in a wide range of sample types.

Mass Spectrometry

Simultaneous Determination of Methylxanthines and Cotinine in Human Plasma by Solid-Phase Extraction Followed by LC–MS-MS

By Rossana Bossi, Bodil Hammer Bech

A multiresidue method has been developed and validated for the analysis of methylxanthines (caffeine and its metabolites) and cotinine in human plasma.

Large-Scale Targeted Protein Quantification Using Wide Selected-Ion Monitoring Data-Independent Acquisition

By Reiko Kiyonami, Vlad Zabrouskov, Andreas F.R. Hühmer, Sonia Ting, Michael Senko, Michael MacCoss, Jarrett Egertson

This article describes the development of a new data-independent acquisition (DIA) workflow for protein quantification that uses a mass spectrometer that combines three types of mass analyzers to achieve lower limits of detection (LOD), higher sensitivity, more accurate quantitative results, wider dynamic range, and better reproducibility than existing high-resolution accurate-mass (HRAM) tandem mass spectrometry (MS-MS) DIA workflows.

GC–MS Analysis of an Herbal Medicinal Remedy to Identify Potential Toxic Compounds

By Hang P. Nguyen, Irene W. Kimaru

In most countries, herbal medicinal products (HMPs) are introduced into the market without proper scientific evaluation or enforced safety and toxicological studies.

Application of Ambient Sampling Portable Mass Spectrometry Toward On-Site Screening of Clandestine Drug Operations

By Christopher C. Mulligan, Seth E. Hall

Worldwide trends in illicit drug use and production have shifted toward an increase in synthetic analogues and the emergence of new variations in their manufacture.

Unraveling the Links Between Diet and Human Health Using LC–MS-MS

By Spectroscopy Editors

We recently spoke to Gary Duncan and Wendy Russell of the Rowett Institute of Nutrition & Health in Aberdeen, Scotland, about the significance of phytochemical bioavailability to human health and the important role of liquid chromatography linked to tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS-MS) in their research.

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