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HERBAL ANALYSIS: SPECTROSCOPY


Spectroscopy serves as the HERBAL ANALYST eyes, ears and nose. If you don’t know what plant-derived product you have or working on, we advise you not to take anyone’s word but to get its SPECTRUM! We have a range of spectroscopic techniques at our deposal: ultraviolet, infrared, mass and NMR spectroscopy are just few to mention.  Below is a simplified summary of combined spectroscopic techniques that we may apply to identify an unknown plant-derived product:

 

By using NMR spectroscopy, we look at bonding atoms through their nuclei. We establish connectivity of atoms through bonds, spatial arrangement of atoms,  and 1:1 correspondences between signals and atoms. Click here for some guidance on NMR data interpretation.

 

Through Mass spectroscopy, we establish not only the molecular weight of the compound in question but also distinguishes rival possibilities through controllable fragmentation experiments. Click here for some guidance  on  mass spectral data interpretation.

 

By measuring vibrational characteristics of bonds, functional groups of the molecule/compound are identified using Infrared spectroscopy. This may also be used as a 'fingerprint' for routine analysis of products identity, purity, etc.

 

Ultraviolet spectroscopy confirms conjugation and multiple bonds in a molecule.

 

The above spectroscopic techniques are often combined with chromatography for simultaneous separation and structural identifications.  We also use spectroscopic techniques  in various bioassays to study, drug-drug or drug-biological target interactions.

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Dr Habtemariam BSc, MSc, PhD........FRSM. .... With a Principal Lecturer post at Greenwich, Dr Habtemariam is a leader of the BSc Pharmaceutical Science programme and researches on bioassay & natural products-based drug development. ....More

 

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In addition to our fully equipped tissue culture facilities, we have  access to various state-of-the-art equipment including ICP-MS, LC-MS, MALDI-TOF-MS, FABS-MS, FTIR, Laser-Raman,  scanning  and transmission  electron microscopes, flow cytometer, NMR (270, 300 and 500MHz),  automated DNA sequencers, various HPLC systems,  capillary electrophersis and ABI PRCmate DNA synthetisers.

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