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Tesi etd-01262012-080202


Thesis type
Tesi di dottorato di ricerca
Author
ROCCHI, MARCO
URN
etd-01262012-080202
Title
UBSTANCES IN ANCIENT PHARMACEUTICAL AND COSMETIC PRODUCTS: IDENTIFICATION AND STUDY OF AGING BY CHROMATOGRAPHIC AND MASS SPECTROMETRIC TECHNIQUES
Settore scientifico disciplinare
CHIM/01
Corso di studi
SCIENZE CHIMICHE
Supervisors
tutor Prof. Colombini, Maria Perla
Parole chiave
  • GC/MS
  • ointmens
  • HTGC/FID
  • HPLC-DAD
  • py-GC/MS
Data inizio appello
30/01/2012;
Consultabilità
Completa
Riassunto analitico
The identification of the substances and the processes used in the past for formulating medical, cosmetic and pharmaceutical preparations can be of great interest to reconstruct the evolution of science, technology and knowledge in the course of the centuries, and to trace the role and the uses of various materials in past societies.
This thesis presents the development and the principal results of an analytical approach based on chromatographic and mass spectrometric techniques for the characterization of organic materials recovered in old medical and cosmetic preparations. The principal aim of this research was the identification of the materials preserved to understand their function in such preparations. The research was mainly focused on the characterization of lipid and terpenic compounds, which are the main components in the majority of the ancient preparations.
The historical materials studied come from: - Collections of 17th-19th century pharmaceutical preparations stored at the Aboca museum of Sansepolcro (Arezzo, Italy) and the Real Cartuja de Valldemossa (Palma, Majorca, Spain): - 2th-3th centuries A.D. Roman samples from the excavation of the Necropolis of Antinoe (Beni Hasan, Egypt). - Samples from “Schiaparelli” excavations (3000-1900 BC) in Egypt; - An Egyptian kohl sample from the Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum of Hannover (Germany) (II-I century BC).
The experimental part of the thesis was organised in the following steps: collection and analysis of raw reference materials, preparation and analysis of replicas of ancient formulations, artificial ageing of reference materials and replicas, creation of a database of biomolecular markers with related mass spectra, a round robin exercise for analytical procedure validation, analysis of historical samples, critical association of historical data with chemical information to understand the nature and state of degradation of the old preparations.
The research was developed under the national project Prin07: Colors and balms in antiquity: from the chemical study to the knowledge of technologies in cosmetics, painting and medicine.
Abstract
Analyses were performed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and by analytical pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (py-GC/MS), aimed at separating and identifying significant molecular markers to be used to assess the composition of the materials. Analytical pyrolysis allowed us to study the polymeric structure of the pharmaceutical sample in a quite fast way. GC/MS procedure permited to determine fatty acids, diacids, hydroxy-acids, long chain alcohols and specific alkane patterns highlighting the presence of bitumen, tar, pitches, waxes, animal fats, plant oils, and plant resins in the same minute sample.
The results have been interpreted contextually with information obtained from the historical documents and ancient pharmaceutical treatises, in order to reconstruct the original recipes of the formulations. From an historical point of view, this research increased our knowledge about the technical knowhow on the preparation of cosmetics and pharmaceutical balms.
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