Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

K-State Chemist Publishes New Article On High Tech Sample Analysis

Date:
May 15, 2000
Source:
Kansas State University
Summary:
New instrumentation makes it possible to analyze the localized chemical content of extremely small specimens -- single cells, single fibers, single crystals, and botanical parts. The technical advance eliminated the need to grind up a sample or stain it. Instead, slicing it "thin enough" -- to 1/10th the thickness of a human hair -- is all that's needed to probe its chemistry.

MANHATTAN -- An article in the most recent issue of Chemistry and Industry magazine describes a powerful technique for analyzing a wide variety of samples without destroying them in the process. Authors of the article, Kansas State University chemist David Wetzel and John A. Reffner, technical director at SensIR in Danbury, Conn., are leaders in the field of infrared microspectroscopy.

Related Articles


The invited article by the two scientists, "More information from less sample," describes how the new technique helped solve the bombing of the World Trade Center, using only fragments of debris collected at the scene. Infrared microspectroscopy combines a special infrared microscope, infrared spectrometer and computer. This instrumentation makes it possible to analyze the localized chemical content of extremely small specimen -- single cells, single fibers, single crystals, and botanical parts. The technical advance eliminated the need to grind up a sample or stain it. Instead, slicing it "thin enough" -- to 1/10th the thickness of a human hair -- is all that's needed to probe its chemistry.

Select wavelengths of infrared radiation that strike the target sample are either absorbed or transmitted by the molecules, thus providing a chemical signature. That infrared signature tells an analyst what's present and how much. Being able to achieve spatial resolution has been a long-time goal of scientists, and the microscope pinpoints the target of only a few microns. By analyzing a sample in a grid pattern, a map of localized chemistry of the molecules is developed that can be superimposed over the visible physical microstructure under study.

This rapidly emerging technology has increasing applications for biological and other research. The tiniest particle can be analyzed -- a paint chip from a hit and run case to a single red blood cell to study rare blood disorders.

"Even a single cell in the cross-section of a wheat kernel, surrounded by cell walls and tissue, can be isolated with image masks and its unique infrared absorption spectra recorded for analysis," the authors say.

Wetzel has worked at the cutting edge of this technology since the modern infrared microscope was developed and patented in 1989. Almost immediately, Wetzel carried sectioned wheat samples to the inventor's labs for analysis on the new instruments, thus becoming one of the first researchers in the world to test its capability for analyzing biological materials.

The quality of the data from those first wheat experiments became the basis for a scientific presentation, and subsequent scientific publication.

According to Wetzel, inside a wheat kernel or other tissues, there are localized miniature biochemical factories with raw material, intermediate material and end products. "With an infrared microspectrometer, we could begin to see how each factory is working, and analyze it on the spot," he explained.

For more information contact David Wetzel at K-State's department of grain science and industry, Microbeam Molecular Spectroscopy Lab, department of grain science and industry Microbeam Molecular, at 785-532-4094 (office), 785-539-2509 (home) or e-mail Dwetzel@ksu.edu; or at SensIR Technologies, 203-207-9700.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kansas State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Kansas State University. "K-State Chemist Publishes New Article On High Tech Sample Analysis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 May 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000510111244.htm>.
Kansas State University. (2000, May 15). K-State Chemist Publishes New Article On High Tech Sample Analysis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000510111244.htm
Kansas State University. "K-State Chemist Publishes New Article On High Tech Sample Analysis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000510111244.htm (accessed November 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, November 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Toyota presented its hydrogen fuel-cell compact car called "Mirai" to US consumers at the Los Angeles auto show. The car should go on sale in 2015 for around $60.000. It combines stored hydrogen with oxygen to generate its own power. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) In a blog post, Google said its balloons have traveled 3 million kilometers since the start of Project Loon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NSA Director: China Can Damage US Power Grid

NSA Director: China Can Damage US Power Grid

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) China and "one or two" other countries are capable of mounting cyberattacks that would shut down the electric grid and other critical systems in parts of the United States, according to Adm. Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency and hea Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Latest Minivan Crash Tests Aren't Pretty

Latest Minivan Crash Tests Aren't Pretty

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Five minivans were put to the test in head-on crash simulations by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins