Vibrational circular dichroism (VCD) spectroscopy has emerged as a powerful platform to quantify chirality, a vital biological property that performs a pivotal role in the metabolism of life organisms. With a photoelastic modulator (PEM) integrated into an infrared spectrometer, the differential response of a sample to the direction of circularly polarized light can be used to infer conformation handedness. However, these optical components inherently exhibit chromatic behavior and are typically optimized at discrete spectral frequencies. Advancements of discrete frequency infrared (DFIR) spectroscopic microscopes in spectral image quality and data throughput are promising for use toward analytical VCD measurements. Utilizing the PEM advantages incorporated into a custom-built QCL microscope, we demonstrate a point scanning VCD instrument capable of acquiring spectra rapidly across all fingerprint region wavelengths in transmission configuration. Moreover, for the first time, we also demonstrate the VCD imaging performance of our instrument for site-specific chirality mapping of biological tissue samples. This study offers some insight into future possibilities of examining small, localized changes in tissue that have major implications for systemic diseases and their progression, while also laying the groundwork for additional modeling and validation in advancing the capability of VCD spectroscopy and imaging.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry