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Tracing pollens - BAM performs a systematic analysis of pollens

02.04.2008
Rising temperatures increase pollen contamination. The immune system of most people does not react to pollen, however, a susceptible organism considers pollen proteins as "aggressors" and responds with an irritated mucous membrane in eyes, nose or bronchi leading to eye itching, sneezing or difficulty in breathing.

As few as 50 particles per cubic metre of air are sufficient to trigger an allergic reaction.

The biochemical processes in the human organism are well known, however, molecular processes in nature are not so well understood yet.

How and under what conditions do pollen grains release their contents and active substances? Do heat and humidity play a role? What is the influence of pollutants (trace gases, soot particles) whose concentrations in densely populated areas often reach high values? Which methods can be used to precisely analyse flower pollens in nature?

... more about:
»Active »Pollen »substances

The BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing is currently investigating these relationships in a research project where the scientists use sensitive spectroscopic methods, primarily Raman spectroscopy and its particularly sensitive advancement, the surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy. Detection corresponds to a spectroscopic finger print which reflects the chemical composition of the samples.

Pollen samples of as many plants as possible will be analyzed; meanwhile the spectra from more than 50 kinds of pollen have been recorded. Information on the numerous components and active substances of pollen from different species will be systematically compiled in an extensive data base. In addition, this data base will create the basis for a new measurement network which will enable automatic and rapid classification and identification of different pollen species.

This automatic and precise recognition technology could provide an important contribution to the quality assurance of recombinant pollen allergens. These biotechnologically active substances are used e.g., in immunotherapy for desensitising patients to pollen allergens.

Information:
Dr. Janina Kneipp
Assistant Professor of Analytical Chemistry, Humboldt University and
Working Group "Optical Spectroscopy"
BAM-Division I.4 "Process Analysis"
Phone: +49 30 8104-5738 or +49 30 8104-1149
Email: janina.kneipp@bam.de

Dr. Ulrike Rockland | idw
Further information:
http://www.bam.de

Further reports about: Active Pollen substances

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