Quantification of DNA in simple eukaryotic cells using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy Academic Article uri icon


  • A technique capable of detecting and monitoring nucleic acid concentration offers potential in diagnosing cancer and further developing an understanding of the biochemistry of disease. The application of Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy has previously been hindered by the supposed non-Beer-Lambert absorption behavior of DNA in intact cells making elucidation of the DNA bands difficult. We use known composition DNA/hemoglobin standards to successfully estimate the DNA content in avian erythrocyte nuclei (44.2%) and intact erythrocytes (12.8%). Furthermore we demonstrate that the absorption of cellular DNA does follow the Beer-Lambert Law and highlights the role of conformation and hydration in FTIR spectroscopy of biological samples.


  • Whelan, Donna R
  • Bambery, Keith R
  • Puskar, Ljiljana
  • McNaughton, Don
  • Wood, Bayden R

publication date

  • 2013