Spectroscopy Interviews

Sep 17, 2018
By Spectroscopy Editors
Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) and surface-enhanced spatially offset Raman spectroscopy (SESORS) have been used in medical research for the detection of neurotransmitters such as melatonin, serotonin, and epinephrine. These techniques can assist in the diagnosis of neurological diseases and provide information that can lead to more effective treatment methods. Bhavya Sharma an assistant professor in the department of chemistry at the University of Tennessee (Knoxville, Tennessee), has been using SERS and SESORS to detect neurotransmitters and probe subsurface layers through the skull. Here, she describes the advantages of these techniques and how they are used in biological applications.
Sep 10, 2018
Spectroscopy
The detection, quantitation, and characterization of nanoparticles using inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), and in particular using single-particle ICP-MS (SP-ICP-MS), has developed significantly in recent years. However, the difficulties involved in this type of analysis vary, depending on the composition of the nanoparticles. Martín Resano of the University of Zaragoza, together with colleagues from Ghent University, has recently developed a method for characterizing nanoparticles made from silicon dioxide (Si02), which are much more challenging to detect than those made from silver or gold. He recently spoke to us about this work.
Aug 20, 2018
By Spectroscopy Editors
If a new drug candidate is going to fail, it’s best if it does so as early in the process as possible—before a lot of time and money have been spent developing it. Figuring out whether a drug will fail, and why it might fail, is a complex problem, however. Zachary Schultz of The Ohio State University is investigating how tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS) can help with this process, particularly in terms of studying binding between membrane receptors and ligands.
Jul 30, 2018
By Spectroscopy Editors
Laser-induced plasmas are formed by the application of a laser pulse to a target surface, which instantly excites, ionizes, and vaporizes the material into a very hot vapor plume. One of the main uses of these plasmas is in laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, a rapidly evolving and exciting field of study. Alessandro De Giacomo is a professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Bari in Italy and an associated researcher at CNR-NANOTEC, and he and his group are involved with the study of laser-induced plasmas and the use of nanoparticles (NPs) in laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy to enhance signal. We recently spoke with him about this research.
Jun 18, 2018
By Spectroscopy Editors
Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is an exciting avenue of study in the field of disease research, particularly with respect to its potential ability to provide enhanced detection compared with previous analytical techniques. Marc D. Porter, who is a professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the University of Utah, has been working with SERS to improve the detection of diseases such as tuberculosis and hepatic cancer. We recently spoke with him about this research.
Jun 08, 2018
By Spectroscopy Editors
Yeast grown on selenium-rich media is used in various ways as a nutritional supplement, and may have a role in treatments for the prevention of prostate and colon cancer. However, the mass balance of the selenium species identified in this material often does not reach 100%, suggesting the presence of unaccounted forms of selenium. In this context, the research team of Joanna Szpunar and Ryszard Lobinski at the Institute of Analytical Sciences and Physico-Chemistry for Environment and Materials (IPREM), affiliated at the French National Research Council (CNRS) at the University of Pau, France, decided to investigate the hypothesis that the “missing” selenium was in the form of biogenic nanoparticles. Dr. Javier Jiménez Lamana, a post-doctoral fellow in the group, spoke to us about his work to overcome the size-detection limitations of existing analytical methods necessary to test that theory.
Apr 09, 2018
By Spectroscopy Editors
Advanced vibrational spectroscopic techniques such as Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) and attenuated total reflection (ATR)-FT-IR spectroscopic imaging are important tools for understanding molecular interactions and using them to help engineer new products and processes. Sergei G. Kazarian, Professor of Physical Chemistry at the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London, UK, has used these advanced imaging techniques for applications as varied as studying crude oil fouling, analyzing pharmaceutical formulations in microfluidic channels, examining biological systems and biopsy samples, and investigating the pigment-oil interaction in priceless paintings at the microscale level. We recently spoke with him about this research.
Mar 19, 2018
By Spectroscopy Editors
In many areas of spectroscopy, scientists working at instrument companies often make valuable contributions, by advancing the practical application of techniques and by educating customers. Andrew Whitley of Horiba Scientific, is one such scientist. He works diligently to identify potential new areas for Raman applications, and also dedicates much of his time to educating spectroscopists and new users to the field about the benefits of using Raman spectroscopy. Here, Whitley discusses his continued interest in spectroscopy, his role educating others, and his hope for the future of Raman spectroscopy.
Mar 09, 2018
By Spectroscopy Editors
Although inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) and ICP-mass spectrometry (MS) are generally considered to be mature techniques, researchers continue to investigate the fundamentals of the techniques and improve their capabilities. Diane Beauchemin, a professor at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, is engaged in that challenge. She recently spoke to Spectroscopy about methods she has developed for simultaneous speciation and her work to improve sample introduction efficiency, to improve sensitivity and detection limits.
Feb 15, 2018
In biology, the study of intracellular structures is important and requires analytical techniques with submicrometer resolution. Atomic force microscopy-infrared (AFM-IR) spectroscopy is one technique that has the required lateral spatial resolution to observe such structures. David Perez-Guaita, PhD, at the Centre for Biospectroscopy at Monash University in Australia, is pioneering work applying AFM-IR to the study of red blood cells infected with the malaria parasite.
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