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Highlighting attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy for rapid serum analysis

Dorling, Konrad M. and Baker, Matthew J. (2013) Highlighting attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy for rapid serum analysis. Trends in Biotechnology, 31 (6). pp. 327-328. ISSN 0167-7799

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Attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy is an excellent vibrational spectroscopic technique for the analysis of serum due to its rapidity and ease of translation into the clinical environment. FTIR is an analytical technique that produces spectra summarising infrared absorption peaks over a limited wavelength range that can be explained by molecular vibrations within a sample that has been exposed to a source of infrared radiation. FTIR spectroscopy combined with appropriate data handling frameworks over the years has proved a useful tool in biomedical research, particularly in the identification and diagnosis of cancer and other diseases, through the discovery of diagnostic biomarkers from the complexity of the biological background [1]. Current methods for cancer diagnosis look at several criteria, with the gold standard for cancer detection being histopathology. Histopathology is a subjective method for cancer diagnosis which is invasive, time consuming, and requires experienced interpretation. Here, we focus on the findings and the potential of serum analysis for cancer diagnosis using a specific method of FTIR spectroscopy called ATR-FTIR, offering point-of-care testing with minimal interpretation.