Infrared vibrational spectroscopic characterizations of microscopic regions on a sample have been dramatically modified by the application of Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) microscopy approaches employing focal plane array (FPA) detection techniques. This global detection strategy, termed FTIR imaging, results in the rapid acquisition of thousands of spatially resolved spectra in minutes. Over the past five years, the methodology has rapidly emerged in terms of both range of applications and the sophistication of analyses for deriving quantitative results from the imaging data. In this discussion, we review instrumental configurations, both data collection and processing aspects and present several biological applications to illustrate the utility, potential and future directions of this new and important analytical procedure.
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