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Ratiometric analysis using Raman spectroscopy as a powerful predictor of structural properties of fatty acids

Jamieson, Lauren E. and Li, Angela and Faulds, Karen and Graham, Duncan (2018) Ratiometric analysis using Raman spectroscopy as a powerful predictor of structural properties of fatty acids. Royal Society Open Science, 5 (12). ISSN 2054-5703

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Raman spectroscopy has been used extensively for analysis of biological samples in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo. While important progress has been made towards using this analytical technique in clinical applications, there is a limit to how much chemically specific information can be extracted from a spectrum of a biological sample, which consists of multiple overlapping peaks from a large number of species in any particular sample. In an attempt to elucidate more specific information regarding individual biochemical species, as opposed to very broad assignments by species class, we propose a bottom up approach beginning with detailed analysis of pure biochemical components. Here we demonstrate a simple ratiometric approach applied to fatty acids, a subsection of the lipid class, to allow the key structural features, in particular degree of saturation and chain length, to be predicted. This is proposed as a starting point for allowing more chemically and species specific information to be elucidated from the highly multiplexed spectrum of multiple overlapping signals found in a real biological sample. The power of simple ratiometric analysis is also demonstrated by comparing the prediction of degree of unsaturation in food oil samples using ratiometric and multivariate analysis techniques which could be used for food oil authentication.