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Label-free molecular imaging of biological cells and tissues by linear and non-linear Raman spectroscopic approaches

Krafft, Christoph; Schmitt, Michael; Schie, Iwan W.; Cialla-May, Dana; Matthäus, Christian; Bocklitz, Thomas W.; Popp, Jürgen
in: Angewandte Chemie-International Edition (2017) 4392

Raman spectroscopy is an emerging technique in bioanalysis and imaging of biomaterials due to its unique spectroscopic fingerprint capabilities. Imaging of cells and tissues by Raman microspectroscopy represents a non-destructive and label-free approach. All components of cells or tissues contribute to the Raman signals giving complex spectral signatures. Long acquisitions times are often required due to the relatively small Raman scattering cross sections. To overcome these limitations, Raman signal enhancing methods like resonance Raman scattering and surface enhanced Raman scattering can be applied that also reduce the spectral complexity because the enhancement is often restricted to selected bands. Raman-active labels can be introduced to increase specificity and multimodality. In addition, non-linear coherent Raman scattering such as coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering and stimulated Raman scattering offer higher sensitivities which enable rapid imaging of larger sampling areas. Finally, fiber based imaging techniques open the way towards in vivo applications of Raman spectroscopy. This critical review summarizes theory, instrumentation, data processing and progress of medical Raman imaging since 2012.

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