Applications in the Field of Natural Products

Any substance that is produced by life is classified as a natural product. They are usually small molecules produced naturally by any organism including primary and secondary metabolites. Due to the nature of their biological activity, chemical structure and only isolable in small quantities, natural product synthesis poses a fascinating challenge in the field of organic chemistry. Apart from testing the biological activity of natural products, SLINTEC Analytical Services are able to identify and characterize any chemical compounds present as well as perform a quantitative analysis of the elements present in the natural products. Some applications that are possible to be carried out in the field of natural products at the SLINTEC premises using the equipment available for analysis are given below.

Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)

• Determination of crystalline polymorphs of natural products
• Elemental analysis of natural products using EDX 

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

• Study of surface morphology of natural products
• Analysis of morphological changes caused by natural products on target materials/sites
• Microscopic characterization of natural products
• Contamination analysis of natural products

Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)

• Nanoscale topographical analysis of natural structures
• Morphology analysis of natural fibres and other structures
• Study of morphological features such as pitch of the fibril twist, the height of fibrils and the number of protofilaments in natural fibres, etc.
• Phase analysis to generate information on surface composition, adhesion, friction and other properties in the nanometre scale of natural structures
• Perform some mechanical characterisations of natural structures

Optical Microscopy

• Microscopic analysis of raw materials prior to extraction/ processing
• Use of fluorescence microscopy in the analysis of fluorescently active natural products

Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA)

• Thermal evaluation of natural products to identify thermal stability related properties of natural products such as aging, heat oxidation and phase change.
• Analysis of the decomposition of natural products
• Determine the volatile content, water content, ash content, etc. of natural products

Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)

• Identification of the key functional groups present in the active compounds in natural products
• Ability to distinguish the origin of raw materials based on the spectra obtained for different materials

Raman spectroscopy

• Identification of raw materials
• To study the stability of natural products in solvents
• Monitoring the accumulation or production of metabolites during processing and extraction
• Identification and quantification of active compounds and functional groups in natural products

UV/Visible Spectroscopy

• Quantification of certain chemical compounds present in natural products

Fluorescenece Spectroscopy

• Detection and quantification of certain compounds present in natural products based on their native fluorescence 

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NMR)

• Structure elucidation of natural products sing both 1D and 2D methods
• Identification of some impurities in natural products
• NMR based metabolomics; Metabolite fingerprinting (high throughput analysis of crude samples without any identification or quantification)  

Inductively Coupled Plasma- Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS)

• Elemental analysis of natural products
• Detection of contaminants in natural products

X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy (XRF)

• Elemental mapping and composition determination of natural products

CHNS Analysis

• C, H, N, S weight percentage determination in natural products

Preparatory High Performance Liquid Chromatography (Prep-HPLC)

• isolation and purification of a desired product or compound from a complex mixture

Mass Spectrometry 

• Quantification of known materials in a sample and to identify unknown compounds within a sample