Raman Spectroscopy is a useful tool in the molecular characterisation of materials, due to its intrinsically high molecular specificity; zero/little required sample preparation and flexible sample configurations. There are a wide range of application areas, which could take advantage of the benefits Raman spectroscopy has to offer, however fluorescence and thermal interference play a major role in some of these applications, making the use of Raman problematic. For example, amino acids are known to have a strong fluorescence signal, creating challenges when trying to characterise samples from e.g. plants, food, and bacteria, which all tend to have amino acids present.
The solution to this problem is Timegate’s PicoRaman M3, a spectrometer which uses the patented technology of a picosecond range laser excitation source combined with a time-gated single photon counting array detector. Using this technology, the instrument can capture the instantaneous Raman scattering signals which appear first due to the longer average delay of the fluorescence interference, which can then be suppressed. This allows the instrument to feedback a Raman spectrum which has real fluorescence suppression. On top of this the PicoRaman M3 can also give time-resolved fluorescence information and effectively remove ambient light and thermal emission interference, all of which allows Raman Spectroscopy to be used in a much wider range of applications such as high temperature research, energy storage and pharmaceutical solutions.
MicroPlate HTS System
To further broaden the applications Raman can be used for Timegate have released three attachments, for example the ProbePro Mini. This device enables Timegate’s Raman spectrometers to be connected to bioreactors for in-situ, real-time analysis to follow composition and changes in a cell culture media. Their soon to be fourth released attachment is the MicroPlate HTS System, which looks to optimise microscopic analysis. This attachment is a 96 well microplate, which offers efficient high-throughput screening, while also allowing for automatic measurement as it comes with a motorised stage. Not only is the HTS system user friendly and easy to use but also has further benefits as it is a no contact, non-destructive technique as the measurements are taken through the glass bottom of the well. This all means users can gather real-time, accurate data on the concentrations of their 96 samples, while still being fully automated and label free. This system is built upon the Olympus IX73 inverted microscope, which along with the MicroPlate HTS system, motorised stage and deck unit are all provided by Timegate.
Not only does this attachment improve users experience, but it will also be a great tool in applications such as pharmaceuticals and biological testing. There are many areas within pharmaceuticals where Raman spectroscopy is useful, such as raw material identification or in-situ monitoring of reactions when developing APIs, but the MicroPlate HTS system will come in most use for applications like quality control. With the ability to automatically measure 96 samples, it can be used to ensure drug concentrations are consistent within a large batch, providing appropriate representative data. As well as this the system could be used in anti-counterfeiting applications, confirming the identity of unknown medicines and drugs, and seeing the concentration of molecules within them. When looking at the application of biological testing the MicroPlate HTS system can be used to evaluate molecules of interest and their concentrations within different bioprocesses. Or it can be used to detect the presence of metabolites and see how their concentration changes over time for example assessing the production of the protein Ovalbumin in a bioprocess.
For more information on the PicoRaman M3 and its attachments, contact us or visit the Timegate Website.