Biology at Lancaster University

IR and Raman Facilities

We have state-of-the-art Infrared and Raman micro-spectroscopic facilities to examine the chemical molecular structure of biomaterials (including polymers, ceramics, composites), biological molecules (tissue engineered and human tissues), cell-lines (cancerous) and normal cell lines, and to perform non-invasive imaging for 3D tissue constructs in vitro.

Our spectroscopic systems are capable of analysing samples non-invasively, providing biochemical information on highly localised volumes (~1μm) or as 2D or 3D spatial maps (~4μm).

The FTIR spectrometer system (capable of step-scan and running FT-Raman module/unit) comprises an FT-Raman module/unit with 1064nm laser which is compatible for solids and liquids, a combination of sampling accessories for surface analysis at macro and micro scale, depth profiling (DP) and analysis of neat samples (both synthetic and natural).

We also have two dispersive Raman micro-spectroscopic (conventional and imagining) systems equipped with 455nm or 488nm, 532nm green laser, 633nm red laser and 780 or 785 or 788nm, which allow us to study a wide range of materials spanning ceramics, polymers, glasses, composites, and natural biological tissues.

In addition, we employ Raman with confocal analysis and imaging to analyse surfaces and, for example clinical samples, such as cancer tissues, bones and dental tissues. 

Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectrometer with Microscope

  • FTIR spectrometer with < 0.1cm-1 resolution and step scan capability.
  • The configuration of Near/Mid/Far infrared optics to cover the range 12,000-50cm-1 including the following detectors with KBr/CaF2/Far-IR beam-splitters:
    • DTGS
    • MCTA (Liquid nitrogen cooled)
    • iNGaAs
  • Step-scan capability for depth profiling
  • Monolithic Diamond ATR accessory for Mid and Far-IR
  • Harrick VariGATR Grazing Angle ATR with polarizer
  • HATR Plus out of a compartment
  • Ge Xtal for HATR Plus
  • Harrick Praying Mantis diffuse reflectance kit (includes environmental chamber and temperature controller)
  • MTEC   Photo-acoustic unit
  • Mini press capable of exerting a minimum of 15-ton pressure, supplied with 6, 8, 10 and 12mm dies
  • Pike X/Y auto-sampler with transmission/reflectance
  • Fibre optic coupling unit with fibre probe for solids and liquids; Mid-IR fibre launcher with             ATR probes covering range 6500-1700cm-1 and 2000-600cm-1
  • Multi-Loop MIR Fibre Optic and Probe Set
  • Comprehensive FTIR libraries suite linked with the operating software
  • Full-featured spectroscopy analysis software which allows Library searching, ability to create macros, quantitative analysis (PLS, CLS and PCR), kinetics capability

Microscope coupled with FTIR

  • Motorized Mapping stage and software
  • MCTA detector
  • Germanium micro ATR crystal with pressure sensing capability.
  • Autofocus capability
  • Diamond compression cell
  • Heated Compression Cell Kit with Controller; Variable temperature stage, heat-able stage
  • Deluxe Sample Prep Kit with Roller Knife
  • A trinocular viewer with a digital colour video camera

FT-Raman module

It is compatible with FTIR spectrometer and equipped with 1064nm laser and InGaAs detector and sample holders for liquids and solids.

FTIR microscope with an imaging detector

  • Mid-infrared FTIR microscope with single point MCTA and array detector operating over the range 7000-650cm-1
  • Motorized stage with mapping software
  • Germanium micro ATR crystal with pressure sensing capability
  • Imaging ATR accessory
  • Autofocus capability
  • CCD colour digital camera
  • Visible polarizer
  • General spectroscopy suite software to include library searching

Suitable PC with Windows or Mac OS, an operating system with a minimum of 21” monitor

Rapid Raman Imaging Dispersive Raman Microscope

This is a powerful system capable of resolving particles on the order of 1mm and scanning large surfaces (several cm2) in less than a few hours and constructing surface maps. The stage must be capable of scanning over an area of at least 10 x 7.5cm.  It has very rapid scanning capabilities, with a spectral acquisition rate of greater than 540 spectra per second with a minimum step size in the X-Y direction of 100nm and 200nm in the Z direction. Scanning rates less than 500 spectra per second will make statistically significant data acquisition for this project unworkable.

  • The typical image collection times are under 40 seconds for a single 100-micron x 100-micron image with 1.0-micron step size in both directions and allows visually-driven interpretation of spectral data, including the ability to adjust analysis parameters during data collection
  • It is equipped with a blue laser, typically 455nm or 488nm, 532nm green laser, 633nm red laser and 780 or 785nm Near IR laser supplied with full range grating covering the minimum range of 3000 to 50cm-1.
  • A trinocular viewer with camera
  • Bright-field/Dark-field illumination
  • Objectives 10x, 20x, 50x and 100x.
  • Long working distance objective 10x, 20x, 50x and 100x
  • Fibre optic probe
  • Automated alignment and calibration
  • To be supplied with vibration table including installation.
  • Suitable PC with Windows, 64bit operating system
  • Linkman stage Advanced Heat/Cool Cell with Controller: Cryostat, a low-temperature cell including sample holders for liquids, tablets, bottles and bags
  • Comprehensive Raman libraries linked with the operating software, capable of library searching, macros facility, quantitative analysis etc., Multicomponent software searching for a collection of organic and inorganic Raman spectra