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Raman Spectrograph for Field Evaluation of Antibiotic Residues
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This proposal suggests the development of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) instrumentation capable of detecting nanogram levels of sulfamethazine per ml of extracted sample. Although the use of subtherapeutic concentrations of anti-microbial agents in animal feed has contributed to the productivity of the U.S. meat and dairy industries by preventing infectious diseases, by decreasing the amount of feed required and by increasing the rate of animal weight gain, failure to observe recommended practices of drug withdrawl can result in concentrations of antibiotic residues in meat and dairy products that may lead to adverse physical effects including human allergenic reactions and increased cancer rates. To improve this situation, this proposal suggests the development of a field-usable Raman spectrograph for use in product assurance, quality control and product inspection. The proposal is innovative by combining visible and near-infrared signal excitation with SERS techniques to achieve the Phase I Technical Objectives, which include fabrication of surface-enhanced Raman scattering probes, selection of laser source and detection components and assembly of the Phase I optical instrument, and calibration of the Phase I instrument under laboratory conditions. The significance of the program is the improved speed, accuracy and precision of analysis of antibotic residues afforded by field-usable Raman spectroscopy.
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