Recent technological and scientific developments concerning the use of infrared spectroscopy for point-of-care applications

in: Spectrochimica Acta Part A-Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy (2021)
Mayerhöfer, Thomas G.; Pahlow, Susanne; Popp, Jürgen
In this contribution we review selected point-of-care applications of infrared spectroscopy and the technological innovations they are based on. After a short introduction summarizing the general idea behind point-of-care applications we introduce the reader to important infrared spectroscopy sensing principles on a very basic level. We discuss the role of optical components like quantum cascade lasers, supercontinuum sources, waveguides and how they are potentially going to revolutionize point-of-care applications. First, we focus on the technological solutions of some principal problems like increasing the pathlength in a transmission cell to enhance the sensitivity for solutes in aqueous solutions and discuss indirect methods which circumvent the problem of low transmittance. In the second part we show how the technological progress of the last decades enabled scientific progress leading to selected concrete and outstanding point-of-care solutions and applications based on infrared spectroscopy. These include the detection and quantification of malaria parasitemia, early recognition of Alzheimer’s disease long before the onset of clinical symptoms and a non-invasive method for testing the blood glucose content. The selected examples demonstrate and showcase that infrared spectroscopy is on the way to become an indispensable technique for point-of-care applications.

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