Purple urine bag syndrome (PUBS) is a rare condition characterized by purple discoloration of urine and urine bags. Although it is benign, it represents an alarming symptom to the patients and their relatives because of purple discoloration. We have physically characterized urine and urine bags belonging to a patient suffering from PUBS using an approach that combines Raman spectroscopy (RS) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coupled with energy dispersive X-ray (EDX). Five “blue” discolored bags and one sterile urine bag, representing the control, were cut into 1 cm2 square samples and analyzed by using RS and SEM + EDX technique. RS enabled us to identify the presence of indigo, a metabolite of tryptophan, while SEM analysis showed the biofilm deposit, probably due to the presence of microorganisms, and the EDX measurements exhibited the elemental composition of the bags. In particular, urine bags before and after the presence of PUBS urine showed an increase of ~32% of Cl, ~33% of O, ~667% of Ca, ~65% of Al and Mg, while C decreased by about 41%. Our results, to be taken as a proof-of-principle study, are promising for the aim to characterizing the urine bags in a flexible, inexpensive, and comprehensive manner.
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