Abstract by Kylie Lytle
Chemistry and Biochemistry
The Use of Raman Spectroscopy for Insulin Detection
Diabetes is diagnosed when blood glucose levels exceed a set amount. However insulin levels begin to rise years before glucose levels do. Measuring insulin levels is difficult and expensive, but could provide a way of diagnosing diabetes years earlier than current methods. Raman spectroscopy is a complementary identification technique to IR spectroscopy, both of which measure vibrational states. Raman is well suited for analyzing biological samples because water (which has an overpowering IR signal) has a very weak signal with Raman. We explore the possibility of using Raman spectroscopy to measure insulin levels in blood. We have found a linear relationship between peak intensity and concentration. We are working on lowering the limit of detection of Raman to the levels needed to detect biological levels of insulin. We have found that the use of homemade Surface-Enhanced Raman substrates lowers the limit of detection and the decreases the time needed for sample collection.