Informing Spectroscopists for Over 40 Years

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The enormous variability in the concentration of plant toxins and nutrients in trees, shrubs and forbs requires extensive sampling to accurately represent the nutritional and toxicological landscape and this is an ideal application for quantitative near infrared (NIR) reflectance spectroscopy. The speed of NIR spectroscopy analysis makes it ideally suited to environmental monitoring and ecological investigations where large numbers of replicates need to be measured. Several recent studies, including one focused on underwater plants on the Great Barrier Reef and the second in Bolivian rainforests, show the power of NIR spectroscopy to address large-scale variability in plant–animal interactions.

Issue 21/5 (2009)

This article highlights the versatility of the developed methodology for the measurement of arsenic species in a range of materials from Devon Great Consols (DGC), one of many former mining sites in the south- west of England.

Issue 21/4 (2009)

The purpose of this article is to give a comparative description of two methods applying ion-beam sputtering in materials research: secondary ion and neutral mass spectrometries (SIMS and SNMS). We shall illustrate the application of the latter by reports on a compositional analysis of perovskite oxides and on an investigation of nanoscaled multilayer structures.

Issue 21/4 (2009)

This article shows that MALDI high resolution mass spectrometry demonstrated directly that Hev b 6 and Hev b 1, and also truncated forms thereof, are present on the inner surface of medical NRL gloves. The speed and high accuracy of the applied method and instrumentation makes the detection of surface associated proteins feasible without any prior protein extraction procedure (in situ localisation).

Issue 21/4 (2009)

Spectroscopy plays a vital role in the forensic scientist’s task to analyse crime scene evidence. A new and emerging technique within the forensic field is X-ray fluorescence (XRF) microscopy.

Issue 21/3 (2009)

This article outlines the use of the DOSY NMR method applied to drug analysis and screening for counterfeit drugs or fake herbal medicines

Issue 21/3 (2009)

Interest in Raman spectroscopy as an analytical technique that can be applied in a wide variety of fields continues to increase. The main reason for this interest is that no special sample preparation is required. However, the Raman signal is typically very weak, with only one in every 106–108 photons being scattered. This has driven the development of several enhancement techniques, e.g. Resonance Raman (RR), Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) and Surface Enhanced Resonance Raman Spectroscopy (SERRS), which can be used for dilute samples.

Issue 21/3 (2009)

This short review shows that UV/visible spectroscopy plays a key role in the discrimination of colour in the forensic analysis of fibres and inks. The application of chemometrics, however, is vital in many cases to enhance such discrimination and to put it on a quantitative basis so providing objective justification for the conclusions of the analyst.

Issue 21/2 (2009)

In 2007 we introduced our method in Spectroscopy Europe describing the identification of furs by hair digest based matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time of flight (MALDI-ToF) mass spectrometry (MS). This so-called SIAM (Species Identification of Animals) method can also be used for the species determination of ancient furs.

Issue 21/2 (2009)

The Foundation for Analytical Science & Technology in Africa (FASTA) is a charitable company that was established in 2005 in response to a request to provide a GC-MS to the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology (JKUAT) in Nairobi, Kenya. FASTA was founded by Steve Lancaster of BP and Barrie Nixon of Mass Spec UK Ltd. The objectives of the organisation are to support scientific education, analytical research and the preservation of the environment in Africa via capacity-building and technology transfer.

Issue 21/1 (2009)

In the present study, operando infrared (IR) spectroscopy was used to investigate under realistic conditions the oxidation activity of Pt and Pd supported on different oxides, with the aim of generating mechanistic information that will be used for the design of improved formulations.

Issue 21/1 (2009)

The scientific study of fluid inclusions goes back to the middle of the 19th century. Geochemists have sought for years to find techniques that would allow them to analyse the contents of these small liquid bubbles, but the challenge is formidable. After the progressive development of techniques that yielded results for optimal samples, Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry has at last provided a means of analysing individual fluid inclusions in typical, rather than exceptional, samples.

Issue 21/1 (2009)

This article discusses matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation (MALDI) enabled linear ion trap (LIT) mass spectrometry (MS) as a technique for fast and accurate tissue imaging, compared to the more traditional time-of-flight (ToF) method.

Issue 20/6 (2008)

Scientific studies of artworks are an important practice in many institutions dedicated to the study and protection of cultural heritage. Applied physics and chemistry provide the scientific data necessary to characterise and understand the origin, the degradation processes and the environment in which the artwork was created or has existed.

Issue 20/6 (2008)

It is shown here that NIR reflection spectroscopy is able to follow even small variations of both the conversion and the thickness of thin coatings and that it accordingly can be used as an efficient in-line measuring method.

Issue 20/6 (2008)

Our laboratory has received several requests from public or private institutions to solve problems related to conservation and restoration of samples from cultural heritage. A brief description of the FT-IR methodologies used to solve some of them are detailed within this article.

Issue 20/5 (2008)

Lead exposure is an international issue. Pb may enter biological systems (as Pb2+) via food (e.g. food contaminated from cans containing Pb solders in the joints), water (e.g. use of lead pipes), air and soil (the combustions of leaded fuels have contributed to the accumulation of atmospheric and soil Pb). In the USA, the major source of ingestion in young children seems to be the dust and chips originating from old lead paint (used from 1884 to 1978).1 Foetuses and very young children (up to 36 months of age) are more sensitive than adults to relatively high blood lead levels because their brains and nervous systems are still developing and their blood-brain barrier is still incomplete. Childhood lead exposure has been correlated with school absenteeism, low class ranks, poorer vocabulary, longer reaction times and diminished hand-eye coordination, among other neurobehavioural disorders.

Issue 20/5 (2008)

Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was introduced commercially in 1983 as a very sensitive analytical technique to be deployed for (ultra)trace element analysis. Compared to the previously existing techniques of atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) and ICP-optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES), the main advantages offered by ICP-MS over these techniques were its pronounced multi-element capabilities and substantially higher detection power, respectively.

Issue 20/5 (2008)

During the last few decades, solution and solid state techniques have been utilised to obtain information about the properties of supramolecular host–guest complexes. Mass spectrometric analysis of these fragile non-covalent complexes has been focused on the determination of the molecular mass of the interacting molecules and the analysis has concentrated on the characterisation of covalent compounds. Since the invention of the soft ionisation techniques [namely ESI (electospray ionisation) and MALDI (matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation)] and their development for mass spectrometry (MS) instruments, the area and way that MS analysis is used have greatly changed and expanded. In particular, ESI has attained a steady position for the analysis of biomolecules, their non-covalent complexes and other rather fragile systems, which were earlier impossible to study by mass spectrometric methods. Today, MS can be employed not only for molecular weight identification purposes but also for sophisticated analyses on versatile properties of compounds. In the area of supramolecular chemistry, MS studies are becoming more and more general, although MS utilisation is still quite limited.

Issue 20/4 (2008)

Over the last two decades therapeutic antibodies have become the fastest growing area in pharmaceutical biotechnology. The medical significance of these therapeutic entities is highlighted by the commercial availability of about 20 products on the market with more than 160 candidates evaluated in different clinical trials. One reason for the success of antibodies as therapeutic agents is related to the large advancement in their biotechnological production via fermentation. Nowadays titers of about 4 g L–1 in 11-day fed-batch mode using the CHO BI HEX process are achievable using CHO-cells (CHO: chinese hamster ovary).

Issue 20/4 (2008)

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