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Proceedings Paper

Measuring tryptophan concentrations of aqueous solutions for cancer research using terahertz time-domain spectroscopy with metal parallel-plate waveguides
Author(s): Peter-Lasse Giertzuch; Yashar Khodaei; Maik-Hendrik Schubert; Korbinian Hens; Thorsten Sprenger; Christiane Opitz; René Beigang
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Paper Abstract

Recently the essential amino acid tryptophan has attracted attention in cancer research, as its metabolism regulates antitumor immune responses and tumor-intrinisic properties. Measurement techniques to determine tryptophan concentrations of aqueous solutions are therefore vastly important for ongoing research in this field. Recently, Terahertz spectroscopy has illustrated its high potential to be utilized for the characterization of bio-crystals and bio-molecules. We have developed a method to detect and quantify tryptophan based on the parallel-plate waveguide (PPWG) technology together with a commercially available terahertz time domain spectroscopy (TDS) system called “T-SPECTRALYZER F” providing a spectral bandwidth from 0.1 THz to 5 THz. As Terahertz waves are strongly absorbed by water, a measurement of aqueous solutions is a challenging task. In our setup, parallel-plate waveguides are used to detect low tryptophan concentrations, in principle, in solution. Drop-casting the solution into the waveguide forms a dry homogeneous film after evaporation of the solvent. A spectroscopic analysis of the transmission spectrum of the waveguide allows for a determination of the tryptophan concentration as the detection limit is drastically improved by the use of waveguides. In order to increase the detection sensitivity of this measurement technique the terahertz setup was encapsulated in a dry air box to reduce water vapor effects. Here we introduce the working mechanism of “TSPECTRALYZER F” and present the spectral evaluation procedures applied. Finally, we show the improvement of the detection sensitivity using a terahertz time-domain spectroscopy system together with PPWG technology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 February 2017
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 10072, Optical Diagnostics and Sensing XVII: Toward Point-of-Care Diagnostics, 1007211 (17 February 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2254957
Show Author Affiliations
Peter-Lasse Giertzuch, Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (Germany)
Yashar Khodaei, HÜBNER GmbH & Co. KG (Germany)
Maik-Hendrik Schubert, HÜBNER GmbH & Co. KG (Germany)
Korbinian Hens, HÜBNER GmbH & Co. KG (Germany)
Thorsten Sprenger, HÜBNER GmbH & Co. KG (Germany)
Christiane Opitz, Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (Germany)
René Beigang, Technical Univ. Kaiserslautern (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10072:
Optical Diagnostics and Sensing XVII: Toward Point-of-Care Diagnostics
Gerard L. Coté, Editor(s)

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