Optical Sciences

Biomolecules and nanostructures

The Optical Sciences group studies the interaction of light and matter. Our current focus is on detection and sensing/imaging with an emphasis on the development of integrated photonics. We are part of Twente University's Department of Science and Technology and member of the MESA+ institute.


In planta imaging of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid in Cannabis sativa L. with hyperspectral coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering microscopy

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Erik T. Garbacik, Roza P. Korai, Eric H. Frater, Jeroen P. Korterik, Cees Otto, Herman L. Offerhaus
Journal of Biomedical Optics
vol. 18(4), p 046009 Apr. 15, 2013

Nature has developed many pathways to produce medicinal products of extraordinary potency and specificity with significantly higher efficiencies than current synthetic methods can achieve. Identification of these mechanisms and their precise locations within plants could substantially increase the yield of a number of natural pharmaceutics. We report label-free imaging of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa) in Cannabis sativa L. using coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering microscopy. In line with previous observations we find high concentrations of THCa in pistillate flowering bodies and relatively low amounts within flowering bracts. Surprisingly, we find differences in the local morphologies of the THCa-containing bodies: organelles within bracts are large, diffuse, and spheroidal, whereas in pistillate flowers they are generally compact, dense, and have heterogeneous structures. We have also identified two distinct vibrational signatures associated with THCa, both in pure crystalline form and within Cannabis plants; at present the exact natures of these spectra remain an open question.
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