Raman spectroscopy of oral bacteria
As everybody knows, bacteria in the oral cavity can lead to tooth decay and other problems. When researchers (including those at the UR Center for Oral Biology) study the competition between "good" and "bad" bacterial species, they need ways of quantifying the bacterial content of, for instance, a plaque specimen. Our group is working on using Raman spectroscopy to discriminate between various oral bacteria and to quantify relative concentrations in model systems (purified bacteria, biofilms), and eventually in oral plaque specimens from mice and humans. The image shows a typical Raman spectrum of a bacterial specimen, indicating all the chemical information present.