Using mid infrared to perform investigations beyond the diffraction limits of microcristalline pathologies: advantages and limitation of Optical PhotoThermal IR spectroscopy

Dominique Bazin, Elise Bouderlique, Ellie Tang, Michel Daudon, Jean-Philippe Haymann, Vincent Frochotc, Emmanuel Letavernier, Els Van de Perre, James C. Williams Jr, James E. Lingemanh, Ferenc Borondics

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Understanding the physico-chemistry related to cristalline pathologies constitutes a challenge in several medical specialities such as nephrology, dermatology or oncology. Regarding nephrology, the chemical diversity of concretions such as kidney stones calls for characterization techniques to determine the chemical composition of concretions. The starting point of this contribution is given by Fourier Transform InfraRed (FTIR) spectroscopy which is routinely used at the hospital to deter-mine the chemical composition of kidney stones as well as ectopic calcifications present in kidney biopsy. For kidney stones, the quantity of sample is sufficient to perform a significant analysis through classical FTIR. For ectopic calcifications, mu FTIR can be inefficient in the case of mu calcification in the tissue when their size is less than 10 mu m. For such samples, Optical PhotoThermal IR (OPT-IR) spectroscopy may constitute a way to overcome this experimental difficulty through the acquisition of IR spectrum with a spatial resolution close to 500 nm.To illustrate such opportunity, we first compare the IR spectrum acquired with a classical experimental set-up related to classical IR spectroscopy to IR spectrum collected with a OPT-IR one for different compounds namely calcium oxalate monohydrate, calcium oxalate dehydrate, calcium phosphate apatite and magnesium ammonium phosphate hexahydrate. Such comparison helps us to assess specificity of OPT-IR. Then, we consider several pathological calcifications associated to hyperoxaluria, adenine phosphoribosyltransferase (APRT) deficiency or the presence of Randall's plaque. We will see that the nanometer spatial resolution constitutes a major advantage versus a micrometre one. Also, in the case of Randall's plaque, we show that OPT-IR can determine the chemical composition of microscopic concretion without any kind of preparation. Such experimental fact is clearly a major advantage. Finally, we also extended this first investigation in nephrology by considering breast calcifications. In that case, if the number of chemical phases is quite low compared to the number of chemical phases identified in ectopic calcifications present in kidney (four instead of 24), the challenge is related to the possibility to distinguish between the different calcium phosphate namely amorphous carbonated calcium phosphate, CA and whitlockite.The complete set of data indicates the limitations and the advantages of OPT-IR spectroscopy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-131
Number of pages32
JournalComptes Rendus Chimie
Issue numberSI
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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  • PhotoThermal IR spectroscopy
  • Pathological calcifications
  • Randall?s plaque
  • Kidney stones
  • Breast calcifications
  • Kidney biopsy


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