At the present time Fourier transform IR (FTIR) spectroscopy plays an important role in the medical area, because it allows examining biological samples with the aim of neurological and other diseases studying. FTIR spectroscopy is a universal technique for more extensive biological system research because of the interaction of molecules in the universe with IR radiation, which excites oscillations in the molecule.
The main difference of FTIR spectroscopy from fluorescence spectroscopy, x-ray crystallography, or cryoelectron microscopy is samples during the process spectroscopy can be examined without labels at room temperature in solution. Moreover, FTIR spectroscopy makes time-resolved investigation possible at almost native conditions, it is label-free because labels can crucially influence the sample or the reaction.
In most cases, IR spectroscopy is in operation in transmission or via reflection at surfaces. The source of IR light is a thermal one, whereas spectral resolution is obtained by interferometry, where a moving mirror within the interferometer leads to interference, depending on the mirror displacement. Fourier transformation produces the single-channel IR spectrum. Thus, Fourier transform IR spectroscopy provides quantitative analysis.
FTIR spectroscopy is better than traditional spectroscopy with dispersive elements because it provides a very good signal-to-noise ratio that records very precise IR spectra. The process spectroscopy involves all reactants and products of the reactions, to be precise, proteins, lipids, ligands, and the solvent. Also FTIR spectroscopy has a very important quality that is the ability to resolve the tiny signals that are caused, for example, by an enzymatic reaction behind this large background. With that, difference spectroscopy moves away the static background and resolves small changes.
The main achievement of the spectroscopy is the opportunity of detecting from mechanisms on the level of macromolecular organization of proteins on lipid membranes, to the secondary structure of individual proteins, to the mechanism of single amino acids, down to water molecules and single hydrogen atoms. The Fourier transform IR spectroscopy provides highly accurate results and enables very precise elucidation of several protein reactions. Moreover, permanent developments and improvements in modern computer systems will make faster and more accurate calculations.
FTIR spectroscopy is a diagnostic tool that helps to examine neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, cancer and disease caused by misfolded proteins, such as in Alzheimer’s disease. Today it is possible to find out beta-sheet formation that causes the development of Alzheimer’s, even earlier than the disease outbreak that allows its early detection.
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