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Proceedings Paper

Fourier-Transform Raman Spectroscopy Of Biological Assemblies
Author(s): Ira W. Levin; E. Neil Lewis
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Paper Abstract

Although the successful coupling of Raman scattered near-infrared radiation to a Michelson interferometer has recently created an outburst of intense interest in Fourier-transform (FT) Raman spectrometry," extended applications of the technique to macromolecular assemblies of biochemical and biophysical relevance have not progressed as rapidly as studies directed primarily at more conventional chemical characterizations. Since biological materials sampled with visible laser excitation sources typically emit a dominant fluorescence signal originating either from the intrinsic fluorescence of the molecular scatterer or from unrelenting contaminants, the use of near-infrared Nd:YAG laser excitation offers a convenient approach for avoiding this frequently overwhelming effect. In addition, the FT-Raman instrumentation provides a means of eliminating the deleterious resonance and decomposition effects often observed with the more accessible green and blue laser emissions. However, in choosing the incident near-infrared wavelength at, for example, 1064nm, the Raman scattered intensity decreases by factors of eighteen to forty from the Raman emissions induced by the shorter, visible excitations. Depending upon the experiment, this disadvantage is offset by the throughput and multiplex advantages afforded by the interferometric design. Thus, for most chemical systems, near-infrared FT-Raman spectroscopy, clearly provides a means for obtaining vibrational Raman spectra from samples intractable to the use of visible laser sources. In particular, for neat liquids, dilute solutions or polycrystalline materials, the ability to achieve high quality, reproducible spectra is, with moderate experience and perhaps relatively high laser powers, as straightforward as the conventional methods used to obtain Raman spectra with visible excitation and dispersive monochromators. In using near-infrared FT techniques to determine the Raman spectra of biological samples, one encounters new sets of experimental problems that may entail an initial, relatively steep learning curve. These difficulties originate particularly from the fragility of the weakly scattering aggregate paired with the dilute nature of the biochemical or cellular dispersion. Often, the Raman scattered intensity from these samples can be increased by carefully peileting the biological suspension using ultracentrifugation techniques. Since the overtone region of water, the usual medium for biological samples, absorbs radiation from both the Rayleigh signal at the exciting wavelength of the Nd:YAG laser and the longer wavelength Raman scattering from the sample, reproducible temperature measurements and temperature control become significant concerns. In these cases one appeals to internal temperature calibrations, use of deuterium oxide (D20) as a solvent (since absorptions of the laser exciting wavelength and Raman scattered photons are minimized), manipulation of incident laser spot size and the use of fiber optic bundles to carry the exciting and scattered radiation. In the present discussion we briefly cite some of the experimental approaches we have developed and experiences we have encountered in adapting near-infrared FT-Raman spectroscopy to the more challenging biophysical and biochemical systems amenable to vibrational analysis. We emphasize here the determination of the spectra of membrane assemblies and membrane related materials; in particular, we elucidate the interaction of several polyene antibiotics, including amphotericin A, amphotericin B and nystatin, with a model membrane system composed of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine bilayers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 December 1989
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 1145, 7th Intl Conf on Fourier Transform Spectroscopy, (1 December 1989); doi: 10.1117/12.969380
Show Author Affiliations
Ira W. Levin, National Institutei of Health Bethesda (United States)
E. Neil Lewis, National Institutes of Health Bethesda (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1145:
7th Intl Conf on Fourier Transform Spectroscopy

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