We first provided an overview of spectroscopy technology in our Lab Automation Overview – Part 1 article. But since there’s so much to talk about, we decided to provide a deep dive into this fascinating medical technology.
Spectroscopy is the most impressive and valuable laboratory analysis technique you’ve likely have never heard of before.
For example, you probably did not know it is used daily in operating rooms worldwide to help anesthesiologists monitor patients under general anesthesia. It provides them with vital information about the molecular composition of the air that the patient is exhaling while under sedation.
This information is critical to ensure the patient’s life-sustaining respiratory processes remain within normal ranges during surgery.
In this article, we’ll dive into how spectroscopy machines work and the other areas in which they are commonly employed.
What is Spectroscopy & Notable Spectroscopy Machine Developers
Spectroscopy is simply an analytical laboratory technique that identifies chemical substances. At a high level, medical laboratory spectroscopy is an analytical tool that is used to determine the composition, both chemical and physical properties of biological tissue samples such as blood, bone, urine, and soft tissue samples.
Spectrometers accomplish this by subjecting the sample to be analyzed by electromagnetic (EM) radiation of a specific wavelength and frequency. You should note that the visible light spectrum is simply an EM radiation of a particular wavelength and frequency, as are microwaves and X-Rays.
The spectrometer is concerned with what happens to the sample after it has been subjected to EM radiation because the atoms in the sample become excited upon absorbing the EM radiation and typically emit a tiny amount of EM radiation that differs from what it was subjected to initially.
In short, the spectrometer measures and quantifies this emitted radiation and uses it to categorize the atomic structure and subsequent composition. Much more could be said about the different types of spectroscopy machines and techniques, such as mass, molecular, and nuclear spectrometry. We leave that to the reader to discover further!
Today’s laboratory spectrometers can efficiently analyze vast data to quickly categorize the complex molecular structures in blood, urine, or tissue samples. This is essentially how spectrometers are used in medicine, but their application and use extend beyond treatment to any field that needs to analyze molecular structures.
Examples of Spectroscopy Applications
Spectrometer equipment is approximately a $14 Billion market worldwide. (Spectrometry Market Size | Industry Report, 2021-2028 (grandviewresearch.com). The companies dominating this market include the following well-known names: Thermo Fisher, Agilent, Bruker Daltonics, Shimadzu, Varian, Perkin, Elmer, and Danaher.
Spectrometry equipment is employed in some capacity in the following fields:
- Pharmaceutical development: The use of spectroscopy technology in pharmaceuticals is used to test raw materials and products before final production. With optical spectroscopy, concentrations of a product’s ingredients can be quickly analyzed and measured.
- Food safety testing: Spectroscopy is an essential technology for testing food safety and quality. It can be used to identify, qualify, and classify numerous food components, contaminants, additives, and adulterants.
- Forensic Analysis: Forensic examiners use spectroscopy to study crime scene evidence. Its non-destructive analytical ability and versatility to analyze fibers, hair, and other forensic materials makes spectroscopy a preferred method in this field.
- Space Exploration: The most exciting spectroscopy use case is the ability to support scientists in collecting data to identify the makeup of atmospheres, the composition of stars, and the motion of galaxies.
Standard Components Used in Spectroscopy
While spectrometry is a molecular process, it cannot be accomplished without configurable machine components. The fact is that finely tuned linear positioning of the sample is required for the spectrometer to analyze the sample correctly.
To accomplish this, dozens of configurable machine components are present in a typical spectrometer, such as:
Configurable components are MISUMI’s specialty, and we are ready to add significant value and cost savings to your lab automation equipment designs because we understand the complex engineering requirements of spectroscopy machines.
We are adept at collaboratively supporting design engineers from concept to production, and we will strive to meet all your custom engineering specifications while minimizing cost. Our configurable component catalog includes several of the necessary parts to develop spectroscopy machines, moving your machine build forward faster.
MISUMI components may be able to encompass up to 90% of your total bill of material costs. We can offer all the material certification documents you might need.
Learn more about our medical and lab automation component solutions.
Grand View Research. (2017 – 2019). Spectrometry Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Type, By Product, By Application (Pharmaceutical Analysis, Forensic Analysis, Proteomics, Metabolomics), By End-use, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2021 – 2028. San Francsico: Grand View Research. Retrieved from https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/spectrometry-market