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Anal Chem. 2011 Dec 15;83(24):9273-80. doi: 10.1021/ac201617g. Epub 2011 Nov 23.

Differentiation of microcystin, nodularin, and their component amino acids by drop-coating deposition Raman spectroscopy.

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia 24060-0246, United States.


Raman spectra of microcystin-LR (MC-LR), MC-RR, MC-LA, MC-LF, MC-LY, MC-LW, MC-YR, and nodularin collected by drop-coating deposition Raman (DCDR) spectroscopy are sufficiently unique for variant identification. Amino acid spectra of L-phenylalanine, L-leucine, L-alanine, D-alanine, L-glutamic acid, L-arginine, L-tryptophan, L-tyrosine, and N-methyl-D-aspartic acid were collected in crystalline, DCDR, and aqueous forms to aid in cyanotoxin Raman peak assignments. Both peak ratio analysis and principal component analysis (PCA) properly classified 72 DCDR spectra belonging to the eight toxins. Loading plots for the first three principal components (PCs) most heavily weighted the peaks highlighted in the peak ratio analysis, specifically the 760 cm(-1) tryptophan peak, 853 cm(-1) tyrosine peak, and 1006 cm(-1) phenylalanine peak. Peak ratio analyses may be preferred under some circumstances because of the ease and speed with which the ratios can be computed, even by untrained lab technicians. A set of rules was created to mathematically classify toxins using the peak ratios. DCDR methods hold great potential for future application in routine monitoring because portable and hand-held Raman spectrometers are commercially available, DCDR spectra can be collected in seconds for biomolecule mixtures as well as samples containing impurities, and the method requires far fewer consumables than conventional cyanotoxin detection methods.

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