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Proceedings Paper

Analysis Of Pulmonary Tissue Of Natural Mummy Of XIII Century (Saint Zita, Lucca-Tuscany) By Means Of FT-IR Microspectroscopy.
Author(s): Enzo Benedetti; Piergiorgio Vergamini; Gino Fornaciari; Giuliano Spremolla
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Paper Abstract

During a recognition carried out by one of us on the S.Zita's body, preserved for seven hundred years in the S.Frediano's Basilica (Lucca, Tuscany-Italy) it has been possible to verify the good condition of many orgains and systems. In this comunication we report preliminary results of an analysis of the pulmonary tissue which to the histologic examination showed a typical aspect. It was observed the presence of a massive anthracosis. In order to obtain indication, at molecular level, FT-IR microspectroscopy measurements were carried out. The infrared spectra relative to different microareas allowed us to evidence regions of tissue decomposed, and others in which the infrared spectra showed absorptions characteristic of proteic components at 1650 cm-1 and 1540 cm-1 ascribed to the Amide I and Amide II vibrations respectively. In the 1350-950 cm-1 range bands due to nucleic acids were detected. Also in the CH stretching region bands due to methyl and methylene groups were observed, likely due to the presence of paraffinic segments of phospholipids of cellular membranes. Previous FT-IR studies carried out by us on biological systems such as normal and leukemic lymphocytes (1), on lymphoblast (2), and recently on cells isolated from neoplastic pulmonary tissues (3), represent a basis which allows us to perform a sufficiently complete assignment on the spectra obtained on this finding. These spectra are surprisingly very similar to those obtained by us on human lung tissue from surgical specimens. As far as we know, FT-IR microspectroscopy, which was first employed by our group in the study of human neoplasia at level of single cell (4) has been applied in the analysis of ancient pulmonary tissue, certainly not submitted to any conservative treatment. This kind of approach can open up new possibilities in obtaining indication, at molecular level, on findings of paleophanthology of different origin and age.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 December 1989
PDF: 1 pages
Proc. SPIE 1145, 7th Intl Conf on Fourier Transform Spectroscopy, (1 December 1989); doi: 10.1117/12.969572
Show Author Affiliations
Enzo Benedetti, Universita' di Pisa (Italy)
Piergiorgio Vergamini, Universita' di Pisa (Italy)
Gino Fornaciari, Universita' di Pisa (Italy)
Giuliano Spremolla, Universita' di Pisa (Italy)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1145:
7th Intl Conf on Fourier Transform Spectroscopy
David G. Cameron, Editor(s)

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