Attenuated Total Reflectance Fourier Transform Infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectra of L-phenylalanine in aqueous solution were recorded in the pH range 0-13. The vibrational molecular spectroscopic study of this amino-acid, a well-known component of human tissue, showed that L-phenylalanine undergoes structural changes under the influence of pH. Characteristic bands of each ionic species were highlighted and the p<i>K</i>a values were determined from IR measurements by using an intensity ratio method. ATR-FTIR spectroscopy appears to be a powerful tool for obtaining valuable information on the building blocks of proteins and for measuring tissue damage in aqueous environments.

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