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Raman and Infrared Histopathology

Scientific Profile

The group is working on the application of Raman and infrared spectroscopy to characterize cells and tissues. The spectrometer systems are coupled with microscopes, fiber optic probes or microfluidic chips. In addition, nanoparticles are used for signal amplification and imaging techniques. The data is evaluated with powerful chemometrics. The results are validated with the histopathological gold standard. According to the Leibniz IPHT motto "Photonics for Life", the aim of the group is to transfer the methods for improved health care to the clinic in cooperation with physicians.

Raman images of macrophages. The color code represents the nucleoli in cell nuclei (blue), cytoplasm (green) and lipid drops (red). The lipid content increases from left to right.
Raman images of brain tumor thin sections in aqueous buffer. The color code represents the concentration of lipids (green), nucleic acids in cell nuclei (blue), proteins (red), cholesterol esters (magenta) and buffers (light blue). The chemical composition and morphology changes significantly for a benign tumor (A), malignant tumor (B) and necrosis (C).

Research Topics

  • Raman microscopic imaging with subcellular resolution
  • Raman spectroscopy with fiber optic probes
  • Autofluorescence suppression in Raman spectroscopy 
  • FTIR imaging in transmission and reflection

Many years of experience in sample preparation and the infrastructure are available to carry out bioanalytical investigations on cell and tissue samples. Calibration of the instruments enables measurement series to be recorded under reproducible conditions.

Addressed application fields

  • Innovative single cell diagnostics as liquid biopsy to identify tumor cells circulating in body fluids of cancer patients
  • Raman and infrared imaging of thin sections as a marker-free, molecular contrast method to distinguish pathological tissue from control samples
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