Efficacy of metformin in human single hair fibre by ATR-FTIR spectroscopy coupled with statistical analysis

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Diabetes mellitus is chronic metabolic disorder, resulting from insulin deficiency, characterized by hyperglycemia altered metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids and an increased risk of vascular complications. There are different classes of anti-diabetic drugs in allopathic system of medicine. Metformin (dimethyl biguanide) is a blood glucose lowering agent used in the treatment of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. Almost in all diseases the blood serves as the primary metabolic transport system in the body. Its composition is the preferred indicator with respect to the pathophysiological condition of the patient. Instead of analyzing blood to diagnose diabetes, hair could be used to detect diabetes using FTIR-ATR technique. The most important components of hair are fibrous proteins (keratins), melanins, glycogen, and lipids. Hair follicles are located 3–4 mm below the surface of the skin and are surrounded by rich blood capillary system. In the present study, ten diabetic subjects were considered to evaluate the efficacy of metformin hydrochloride for the treatment of diabetes mellitus using FTIR-ATR spectroscopy. The spectra of diabetic hair fibre samples have been recorded in the mid infrared region of 4000–450 cm−1. The hair samples of the diabetic subjects before medication were taken as pre-treatment samples. The hair samples of diabetic subjects referred to medication with metformin for a period of three month were taken as post-treatment sample. Some remarkable spectral differences were elucidated between pre- and post-treatment hair fibre samples. A comparative study on the FTIR-ATR hair spectra of patients (pre- and post-treatment) along with the healthy subjects has been made. The absorption values of some of the specific bands of biomolecules present in the hair samples viz., protein, lipids and glucose for both the pre- and post-treatment subjects are noted. It was observed that, these biomarkers are significantly different between pre- and post-treatment hair samples. Some of the biomarkers such as R1 = I1635/1450, R2 = I1540/1450, R3 = I2885/1450, R4 = I1255/1450 and R5 = I1015/1450 were used as diagnostic parameters, and hence the efficacy of metformin is estimated. The results are further validated with statistical analysis by applying the dependent t-test, which indicated that the spectral variations are statistically significant.

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