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Demountable Liquid/Flow Cell for in Vivo Infrared Microspectroscopy of Biological Specimens

Volume 63, Number 10 (Oct. 2009) Page 1181-1186

Nasse, M.J.; Ratti, S.; Giordano, M.; Hirschmugl, C.J.


We have developed a liquid/flow cell/chamber allowing infrared measurements of living biological specimens with high spatial resolution under a controlled aqueous environment. This flow chamber features sub-micrometer thick diamond windows exhibiting low spherical and chromatic aberrations. Diamond has excellent transmission properties and minimal dispersion over the entire mid-infrared and visible spectral ranges. In contrast to current commercially available infrared liquid chambers, the flow chamber has a slim profile, which accommodates high resolution/magnification microscope objectives with small working distances, down to 0.6 mm above the chamber and 6 mm below the flow chamber. We have coupled a pump to the flow chamber to provide medium exchange. As an example, we present microspectroscopic infrared maps and spectra of the freshwater green alga Micrasterias sp. in the new flow chamber and compare them to maps obtained with a conventional liquid chamber. Pulse-amplitude-modulated fluorescence measurements on Micrasterias sp. cells inside the new flow chamber have been evaluated to demonstrate the viability of the algal cells.