Tracing overlapping biological signals in mid-infrared using colonic tissues as a model system

Ranjit Kumar Sahu, Ahmad Salman, Shaul Mordechai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Aim: To understand the interference of carbohydrates absorbance in nucleic acids signals during diagnosis of malignancy using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Methods: We used formalin fixed paraffin embedded colonic tissues to obtain infrared (IR) spectra in the mid IR region using a bruker II IR microscope with a facility for varying the measurement area by varying the aperture available. Following this procedure we could measure different regions of the crypt circles containing different biochemicals. Crypts from 18 patients were measured. Circular crypts with a maximum diameter of 120 μm and a lumen of about 30 μm were selected for uniformity. The spectral data was analyzed using conventional and advanced computational methods. Results: Among the various components that are observed to contribute to the diagnostic capabilities of FTIR, the carbohydrates and nucleic acids are prominent. However there are intrinsic difficulties in the diagnostic capabilities due to the overlap of major absorbance bands of nucleic acids, carbohydrates and phospholipids in the mid-IR region. The result demonstrates colonic tissues as a biological system suitable for studying interference of carbohydrates and nucleic acids under ex vivo conditions. Among the diagnostic parameters that are affected by the absorbance from nucleic acids is the RNA/DNA ratio, dependent on absorbance at 1121 cm-1 and 1020 cm-1 that is used to classify the normal and cancerous tissues especially during FTIR based diagnosis of colonic malignancies. The signals of the nucleic acids and the ratio (RNA/DNA) are likely increased due to disappearance of interfering components like carbohydrates and phosphates along with an increase in amount of RNA. Conclusion: The present work, proposes one mechanism for the observed changes in the nucleic acid absorbance in mid-IR during disease progression (carcinogenesis).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-296
Number of pages11
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 14 Jan 2017


  • Colonic tissue
  • Fourier transform infrared diagnosis
  • Malignancy
  • Nucleic acids
  • Spectral interference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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