Noninvasive techniques are typically thought of in reference to the entire patient or large organs, yet what if we were to think about the value of noninvasive techniques at the cellular level. An experimental technique that can noninvasively probe in situ the elastic and the biochemical properties of cells and tissues would be a strategic diagnostic tool. Just like mechanical properties and chemical compositions of materials are of fundamental importance in buildings, the cells that build up every living organism have different properties and shapes depending on their function and state. Now, researchers at the University of Perugia, Italy have just released findings about the use of a new spectrometer capable of analyzing living cells in situ, in a noninvasive manner, and with submicrometric spatial resolution.
Findings from the study were published recently in Light: Science & Application in an article entitled “Non-Contact Mechanical and Chemical Analysis of Single Living Cells by Micro-Spectroscopic Techniques.”
“Cellular complexity prevents any single technique or experiment from revealing the details of the structure and active processes, which can span several decades in length and time,” the authors wrote. “A multidisciplinary approach and the combined use of complementary techniques is an essential requirement to provide novel insights in this field. Bio-photonics and light-based technologies working in a contact-less configuration have been increasingly utilized to gain comprehension of fundamental biological issues. Thanks to recent improvements, confocal laser scanning microscopy, immunohistochemistry and fluorescence techniques allow for the acquisition of functional images that are pivotal for the characterization of the processes and distribution of molecular species in cells and overcome the diffraction limit.”
New Single-Cell Microspectroscopy Methods Could Improve Diagnostics