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Use of Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy for DNA Identification on Recycled PET Composite Substrate

Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy has been extensively used in plastic pollution research, since it has the advantages of great simplicity, rapidity, and low cost, being widely employed in the fingerprint identification of molecular composition and structure. The present study evaluates attenuated total reflection (ATR)–FTIR spectroscopy as a sensitive and effective assay for the identification of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) isolated from experimental animals. Various composite materials based on recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) as the main component, along with high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polypropylene (PP), and aluminum nanopowder obtained using an injection-molding machine, were used as substrate contaminants. The contamination was performed using quantified nucleic acid solution added in droplets to the clean, decontaminated samples, which were then dried and kept in a protective environment until the analysis. ATR–FTIR (with an FTIR spectrometer equipped with an ATR accessory) spectroscopy was used to analyze the bare composite materials’ substrates and the DNA-contaminated samples. To the best of our knowledge, the evaluation of PET packaging contamination with DNA species by FTIR has not been reported previously. This study demonstrated that FTIR spectroscopy could provide a rapid, sensitive, and reliable approach for screening of biochemical contaminants on composite materials based on recycled PET.

Publication date: 26/04/2022

Author: Gianina Dodi

Reference: doi: 10.3390/app12094371

MDPI (applsci)


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.