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Hydration of gelatin molecules studied with terahertz time-domain spectroscopy

Nov 15, 2018

Fan, S., Z. Qian, and V. P. Wallace. “Hydration of gelatin molecules studied with terahertz time-domain spectroscopy.” In Infrared, Millimeter-Wave, and Terahertz Technologies V, vol. 10826, p. 1082604. International Society for Optics and Photonics, 2018.


Gelatin is an irreversible hydrolyzed form of collagen having similar amino acid compositeswith its parent collagen. The hydrogen atoms on the side chains of the long peptide strings can weakly bond with their surrounding gelatin as well as water molecules in aqueous environment, forming a cross-linked 3D matrix. Gelatin has been used as a model for soft tissue phantoms in several medical imaging studies including in terahertz imaging. In the terahertz regime, the dielectric property of the gelatin relies largely on its hydration status and the relationship has been shown to be non-linear. It is therefore essential to study the change of the dielectric properties with respect to the hydration status so as to accurately mimic the properties of fresh biological tissues in the terahertz spectrum. …. The heated gelatin solutions were poured into a liquid holder with a window made of z-cut quartz as the bottom material. The sample holder was set on the reflection imaging stage of the TeraPulse 4000 system (TeraView Ltd, Cambridge, UK).