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Faraday Discuss. 2004;126:289-302; discussion 303-11.

Imaging capabilities of synchrotron infrared microspectroscopy.

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LURE-CNRS Bat 209D, centre Universitaire Paris Sud, Orsay, France.


It has become increasingly clear that synchrotron infrared micro-spectroscopy is an extremely valuable analysis tool when determining the chemical composition of biological and biomedical samples, at the diffraction-limited spatial resolution. Highly resolved infrared micro-spectroscopy, together with the high signal-to-noise level of the recorded spectra, is essential in generating chemical and statistical (multivariate) images. This is illustrated in the case of individual cell and hair section studies. Unprecedented chemical images of lipid distribution and secondary structure relative concentration have been achieved using the synchrotron source. A comparison with a Focal plane Array imaging system, on the same hair section, shows that, despite the fast imaging processing and improved quality achieved with the focal plane array detectors, spectral quality is markedly superior in the case of the synchrotron source. It is clear that the two approaches could be very complementary if combined on the same sample area, in a synchrotron facility.

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