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New perspectives for viability studies with high-content analysis Raman spectroscopy (HCA-RS)

Mondol, Abdullah Saif; Töpfer, Natalie; Rüger, Jan; Neugebauer, Ute; Popp, Jürgen; Schie, Iwan W.
in: Scientific Reports (2019) 12653-1

Raman spectroscopy has been widely used in clinical and molecular biological studies, providing high chemical specificity without the necessity of labels and with little-to-no sample preparation. However, currently performed Raman-based studies of eukaryotic cells are still very laborious and time-consuming, resulting in a low number of sampled cells and questionable statistical validations. Furthermore, the approach requires a trained specialist to perform and analyze the experiments, rendering the method less attractive for most laboratories. In this work, we present a new high-content analysis Raman spectroscopy (HCA-RS) platform that overcomes the current challenges of conventional Raman spectroscopy implementations. HCA-RS allows sampling of a large number of cells under different physiological conditions without any user interaction. The performance of the approach is successfully demonstrated by the development of a Raman-based cell viability assay, i.e., the effect of doxorubicin concentration on monocytic THP-1 cells. A statistical model, principal component analysis combined with support vector machine (PCA-SVM), was found to successfully predict the percentage of viable cells in a mixed population and is in good agreement to results obtained by a standard cell viability assay. This study demonstrates the potential of Raman spectroscopy as a standard high-throughput tool for clinical and biological applications.

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