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Spectroscopy

  1. Easily Measure Color Dissolved Organic Matter (CDOM)
    October 08, 2018
    What is CDOM? CDOM (Color Dissolved Organic Matter) is organic matter whose optical properties are measurable using WPI’s LWCC (Liquid Waveguide Capillary Cell). CDOM occurs naturally in water systems and is derived from organic tannins. CDOM concentration depends on the location where samples are taken, with coastal waters showing higher CDOM concentrations compared to open-ocean waters. In addition, CDOM absorption depends on open-ocean water depth. Why is the study of CDOM levels important? CDOM is naturally occurring but the environment can influence the level of CDOM in water particles. Measuring the level of CDOM is important because CDOM can have a big effect from fresh to oceanic environments. For example, a higher concentration of CDOM in water particles reduces photosynthesis and negatively affects the food chain.
  2. Absorbance Detection
    June 27, 2017
    Absorption of light correlates to the energy of a photon that is taken-up by electrons of the substance atom. The electromagnetic energy is transformed into internal energy of the absorbent substance. The absorbance of a substance quantifies how much of the incident light is absorbed by it (instead of being reflected or refracted). Precise measurements of the absorbance at many wavelengths allow the identification of a substance via absorption spectroscopy, where a sample is illuminated from one side, and the intensity of the light that exits from the sample in every direction is measured (see Fig. 1). A few examples of absorption are ultraviolet–visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy or infrared (IR) spectroscopy.
  3. Using the Biofluorometer with Muscle Physiology Research systems
    June 27, 2017
    The use of fluorescence for sensing and imaging of the cellular signaling pathways has emerged as an indispensable tool in modern physiology, providing dynamic information of quantity and localization of the molecules of interest. Using appropriate indicator dyes, molecules alter their fluorescent characteristics in response to ion binding or membrane integration, so that the optical signal from the indicator can be measured to monitor the amplitude and the time course of various metal ions like Na+, K+, Mg2+ and Ca2+, as well as pH and membrane potential, in cellular compartments. A specific target molecule like Ca2+ is responsible for many physiological functions, such as neurotransmitter release, fertilization and ion channel functions. Studying the cellular channel functions is directly related to the transient increase in the myoplasmic free calcium concentration (Δ[Ca2+
  4. Ca2+ Detection in Muscle Tissue using Fluorescence Spectroscopy
    June 27, 2017
    The use of fluorescent probes in cell physiology has emerged as indispensable tool in the analysis of cell functioning over recent years. The physics underlying fluorescence is illustrated by the electronic-state diagram (so-called Jablonski diagram, see Fig. 1), showing the three-stage process to create the fluorescent signal (Excitation - Excited/State Lifetime - Fluorescence Emission) in a fluorophore/indicator and simplified described below. Fig. 1– Jablonski diagram illustrating the processes of fluorescence by absorption of higher photon energy by a fluorophore and subsequent emission of lower photon energy, resulting i
  5. Light Engine - Turning Light into Science
    April 20, 2015
    If you have seen a rainbow, you have seen the visible part of the light spectrum spread out. Each color we see is actually a different wavelength of light. In scientific applications, we are often interested in only one or two wavelengths of light. For example, a muscle tissue can be stained with Indo-1 or Fluo-4 causing intra-cellular calcium to fluoresce when excited by the appropriate wavelength of light. Or, a neuronal cell can be stained with di-4-ANEPPS and di-8-ANEPPS, causing a fluorescent signal that corresponds with the firing of an action potential. WPI’s new SI-BF-100 Biofluorometer is a light engine that generates quick pulses of light in one (or
  6. SI-BF-100 - The Perfect Fluorometer for a Host of Measurement Applications
    July 07, 2014
    Gabe and Alec discuss the breakthroughs in fluorescence measurements that cut the cost and the complexity of traditional systems using LED technology instead of mechanical filter wheels, filters and costly lamps. More Info
  7. Measuring the Relationship between Force, Energy Consumption and Calcium Concentrations in Muscle Fibers using WPI-SIH Research Systems
    February 12, 2014
    Muscle contraction and relaxation is caused by the attachment and detachment of two types of molecules (actin and myosin) to each other within the fibers that compose a muscle. These molecules are arranged as overlapping filaments within the functional units of the muscle fibers that are known as sarcomeres. Each crossbridge that is made between the end of a myosin molecule and a binding site on an actin molecule requires a molecule of ATP, an energy source, to be hydrolyzed when the end of the myosin molecule is released from the actin filament. After the release, the myosin molecule is ready to move down to another actin binding site causing the sarcomere, and the muscle, to shorten. When ATP is regenerated through a series of enzymatic reactions, another molecule, NADH, provides the energy needed for the regeneration of the ATP. The NADH fluoresces when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light. The oxidized form of the molecule NAD+, which has lost its stored energy, does not fluoresce.
  8. High Intensity LEDs Allow New Applications for the Biofluorometer
    November 07, 2013
    The new SI-BF-100 is an LED-based fluorometer for life science applications. With up to seven LED modules (wavelengths), the SI-BF-100 covers many fluorometric applications in both Neuroscience and Cell Biology. This technology significantly cuts the cost of fluorescent imaging without sacrificing resolution or quality. WPI's recent introduction of the high intensity LED version of the Biofluorometer opens a host of new applications for life science researchers.  In Vivo Applications Monitor electrical activity over large areas of intact brain without the limitations of microelectrode arrays Simultaneously monitor electrical activity an
  9. DNA/RNA Quantification Using DIPUV-Mini and a Tidas Spectrometer
    May 01, 2013
    Abstract Concentrations of DNA in solution (31µg/mL and 688µg/mL) were measured with a spectrometer and UV/VIS light source in a DIPUV-Mini. Due to the 2mm pathlength, use of a DIPUV-Mini does not require a pre-measurement dilution within this concentration range, thus a potential source of error was eliminated. Experimental Procedure Standard solutions of DNA (Sigma D1626) were prepared gravimetrically using 18.2MΩ/cm ultrapurified water as a solvent. Solutions were prepared between 0.0µg/mL and 687.6µg/mL. Measurements were
  10. DNA/RNA Quantification Using a 2mm Cuvette and a Tidas Spectrometer
    May 01, 2013
    Abstract Concentrations of DNA in solution (31µg/mL and 561µg/mL) were measured with a spectrometer and UV/Vis light source in a cuvette. A 2mm pathlength cuvette does not require a pre-measurement dilution within this concentration range, thus a potential source of error was eliminated. Although a 2mm cuvette has a total internal volume of 0.7mL, only 350µL is required to obtain an accurate measurement. Experimental Procedure Standard solutions of DNA (Sigma D1626) were prepared gravimetrically using 18.2MΩ/cm ultrapurified water as a solvent. Solutions were prepared between 0.0µg/mL and 561.1µg/mL. Measurements were taken in triplicate using a 2mm cuvette (WPI #CUV2102-1) in a standard cuvet
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