I am no chemist, but a biologist who knows some biochemistry. I have some natural extracts at limited quantity, which I have been evaluating using mainly GC-MS. These extracts are rich in liquid alkaloids.
I was wondering whether a trivial "Nanodrop" could help me in some analyses -- e.g. estimating concentration of some main compound --, via UV/Vis absorbance scans. A typical nanodrop can scan for absorbance within the range 200-800 nm.
Usually molecular biologists are the only ones routinely making use of Nanodrop, strictly for DNA/RNA purity and quantitative estimations.
Has anyone here ever tried making use of a Nanodrop micro-spectrophotometre for general analytical purposes with other compounds?
I cannot add an answer as others for some reason closed it as "too broad". It isn't, see below.
After completing my tests, I have decided to come back to answer my own question.
A Nanodrop machine has served my purpose quite efficiently, as far as I can judge. I used have used it to evaluate the degree of purity of a natural alkaloid extract from insects, using synthetic alkaloid analogues as controls. See our published paper discussing the method here, along with raw data.
We have noticed no alterations nor cross-contaminations to other DNA/RNA samples running in parallel, highlighting on the fact that the equipment was properly cleaned between each use (with 100% ethanol & distilled water).
Therefore, yes: I recommend using the Nanodrop as a cheap & quick method to scan alternative biological/chemical samples, provided the chemicals and solvents involved are compatible with the pedestal according with the manual.
Hope this discussion encourage others to dare into multidisciplinary research!