Microfluidics Combined with Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) and Chemometrics for Multiple Analyte Dyestuff Identification (2013-2014)

Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) has successfully provided specific molecular fingerprinting for many cultural heritage applications drastically reducing the amount of sample required compared to HPLC analysis.  In order to broaden the applicability of SERS even further, the Van Duyne group is developing methods to separate, detect, and identify multiple dyes from one sample using microfluidics combined with SERS.  Separation is especially important in the case of historical dyed textiles which were very often dyed with multiple dyes, from simple binary combinations to as many as 5-7 different colorants.

We will also examine the use of chemometrics for separating and identifying dye mixtures.  Based on previous work in the Van Duyne group identifying bacteria, principal component analysis (PCA) and (hierarchical cluster analysis) HCA chemometric techniques are the most promising for identifying a mixture of dyes.  Once the method has been developed, chemometrics will be implemented in combination with functionalized microfluidic FONs to develop optimal methods for identifying a mixture of dyes in historical samples.

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