Analytical Techniques and Bioinformatics

Analytical Chemistry

Analytical chemistry is the science which deals with the application of different processes to identify or quantify a substance, to identify components in a given sample mixture and to determine the structure of the chemical compounds.

Analysis of a particular substance is required right from the starting of raw material till the end pharmaceutical formulation. Even after the completion of formulation, it requires an analysis of percentage content of active ingredient. Hence the analysis becomes an integral part of the pharmaceutical industry.

Classification of Analytical Techniques

Analytical techniques are mainly classified into two types. These are −

  • Classical or Non-Instrumental Methods

  • Instrumental Analytical Methods

Classical Analysis

Classical method of analysis is usually a non-sophisticated method as it uses only calibrated glassware, test tubes, beakers, funnels etc. Classical analysis in analytical chemistry basically involves two types of analysis.

Qualitative Analysis: It helps in the determination of quality of the substance and presence of different components in a given sample. It helps with the identification of substance. The main factors which are determined by this type of analysis are specific gravity, viscosity, optical rotation, absorbance, particle size, melting and boiling points, refractive index etc.

Quantitative Analysis: It is the determination of amount of the substance present in a given sample. It determines the percentage content of the active pharmaceutical ingredient. Based on the size of sample available for analysis, this analysis is again classified as −

  • Macro-analysis – Sample size more than 0.1 gram.

  • Semi-micro or Meso analysis - Sample size in between 0.01-0.1 grams.

  • Micro – Sample size weighing between 0.001-0.01 grams.

  • Ultra-micro – Sample size may be in micrograms which is up to 0.0001.

Quantitative analysis is further sub-divided into 2 classes,

  • Gravimetric Analysis: This type of quantitative analysis provides the information on mass measurement and changes in mass of an analyte.

  • Volumetric Analysis or Titrimetry: Here the titration process involves the introduction of solution with known concentration and measured volume which is called titrant into the another solution which is a titrand (analyte). Here the equivalent point or stoichiometric point determines the amount of titrant which has been added to react exactly with the analyte and this is observed by a change in color. Titrimetry is again divided into 3 types. They are Acid-base titrimetry, complexometric titrimetry and redox titrimetry.

Limitations of Classical Analysis

This analysis have some limitations as their sensitivity is very less whose substance analysis cannot go beyond 0.1 grams of sample size and it becomes difficult to analyze given more diluted samples by this technique.

Another limitation of volumetric analysis is that we cannot get the end point color indication for the dark colored sample to be titrated.

So to overcome these limitations, scientists have developed different instruments which are based on certain physical properties. Such analysis is called as instrumental analysis.

Instrumental Analytic Methods

This method requires sophisticated instruments along with the normal classical analysis apparatus. This method mainly determines the measurements of physical properties of sample such as absorption of radiation (like in spectrometry) and conductivity.

Instrumental analysis has many advantages over the classical analysis which are noted below

  • Better and faster

  • Provides more data even in the form of images

  • Provides miniaturization (decreases the sample size)

  • Here better data processing methods are available like chemo metrics.

Instrumental methods are classified into 4 different groups of analysis.

Electro-analysis: Used to find the concentration of solute in a solution mixture. It is a very sensitive technique. Electrical property of the solution is measured here. These methods are further divided into the following categories.

  • Amperometry

  • Consctometry

  • Potentiometry

  • Coulometry

  • Voltametry

  • Electrogravimetry

Spectro-analysis: This method of analysis uses an instrument which can measure the amount of electro-magnetic radiation either absorbed or emitted or scattered by the sample when it interacts with radiation. Different methods are included in this analysis.

  • Atomic Absorption spectroscopy

  • UV-Vis Spectroscopy

  • IR spectroscopy

  • Flame emission spectroscopy

  • Atomic emission spectroscopy

  • Turbidimetry

  • Nephelometry

Chromatography – This technique is used for the separation of components in a given sample mixture based on the relative abilities of each component to get distributed between the 2 phases that is a stationary phase and mobile phase. Some of the chromatography techniques are −

  • Paper chromatography.

  • High performance liquid chromatography.

  • Gas chromatography.

  • Thin layer chromatography.

Other Techniques

This technique includes radio-immuno assay (RIA) and enzyme linked immune sorbent assay (ELISA).

What is Bioinformatics?

Bioinformatics is the study of science which deals with the computational methods for organization and analysis of the biological data which includes genes, genomes, proteins, cells, ecosystems, robots, artificial intelligence etc. It is an interface between biology and computer sciences.

Bioinformaticians are the scientists who are often trained in both biology, maths as well as computer science. These people develop methods and software tools to program computers and dig the biological data.

Importance of Bioinformatics

  • Bioinformatics is a powerful technology where we manage and analyze big data in life sciences.

  • Bioinformatics is a methodological approach that generates new hypothesis, discovers new patterns and new functional elements.

  • Helps us to learn the similarities between genes among different species like mice and humans etc.

  • It infers relationships between the components of complex biological systems.

  • Sequencing technology also allows us to find the differences in the DNA between different people. This helps in understanding human diseases. The study involved here is called GWAS (genome wide association study).

  • Important for diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

  • Identifies the gene mutations which causes the diseases.

  • Using bioinformatics, we can get a virtual cell simulation with biological knowledge, sequence information and structural information in the computers.


Analytical chemistry deals with the methods or techniques which helps in determining the chemical composition of sample mixture. These analytical methods are classified into classical or non-instrumental analysis and instrumental analysis. These both types of analytic methods further classified into different techniques. Bioinformatics is a convergence of biology and data. Here we can process the biological data utilizing the information techniques which is usually done by bioinformaticians.

Updated on: 10-May-2023


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