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Through-container quantitative analysis of hand sanitizers using spatially offset Raman spectroscopy
Communications Chemistry  (IF6.581),  Pub Date : 2021-09-02, DOI: 10.1038/s42004-021-00563-6
Nirzari Gupta, Jason D. Rodriguez, Huzeyfe Yilmaz

The COVID-19 pandemic created an increased demand for hygiene supplies such as hand sanitizers. In response, a large number of new domestic or imported hand sanitizer products entered the US market. Some of these products were later found to be out of specification. Here, to quickly assess the quality of the hand sanitizer products, a quantitative, through-container screening method was developed for rapid and non-destructive screening. Using spatially offset Raman spectroscopy (SORS) and support vector regression (SVR), active ingredients (e.g., type of alcohol) of 173 commercial and in-house products were identified and quantified regardless of the container material or opacity. Alcohol content in hand sanitizer formulations were predicted with high accuracy \((R^2\, > \,0.98)\) using SVR and \(94\%\) of the substandard test samples were identified. In sum, a SORS-SVR method was developed and used for testing medical countermeasures used against COVID-19, demonstrating a potential for high-volume testing during public health threats.