There are currently a range of analytical procedures available to monitor cellular activity in vitro, however, these methods require extensive preparation techniques, and are usually invasive resulting in cell damage or lysis. Alternatives to such methods have already been investigated, with the emphasis on the application of vibrational spectroscopic techniques, namely Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy. Research has demonstrated the capability of both FTIR and Raman Spectroscopy for providing important information on the chemical composition, molecular structure and molecular interactions in cells and tissues [1,2]. More recently, Raman spectroscopy has found application for the analyses of cells and sub-cellular molecules [3-9], due to spectacular advances in the instrumentation used, such as charge coupled detectors (CCD), more advanced laser sources and high performance optical filters and spectrographs.
This project focuses on investigating cellular behviour using a range of methodologies, including Raman Spectroscopy and FTIR and to correlate this activity to spectral changes in response to different stimuli. It has the potential to improve upon existing in vitro assays as it would not require extensive sample preparation, is sensitive, rapid, non-invasive and can be performed in real-time. Such technology also has huge scope for propagation across different tissues and organs and has wide appeal as a method for in vivo medical diagnostics and high throughput screening (HTS) technology.
The approach to this research project is multidisciplinary in nature, combining the areas of materials science, analytical instrumentation and cell biology. The facilities required for this challenging project, including surface modification, and the chemical, physical and biological characterisation are all available at the Nanotechnology and Integrated Bioengineering Centre (NIBEC).
1. G. J. Puppels, F.F.M. de Mul, C. Otto, J. Greve, M. Robert-Nicoud, D.J. Arndt-Jovin and T.M. Jovin. Nature. 1990; 347: 301.
2. I. Notingher, J.R. Jones, S. Verrier, I. Bisson, P. Embanga, P. Edwards, J.M. Polak and L.L. Hench. Spectroscopy. 2003; 17: 275-288.
3. I. Notingher, S. Verrier, H. Romanska, A.E. Bishop, J.M. Polak and L.L. Hench. Spectroscopy, 2002; 16: 43-51.
4. C. Krafft, T. Knetschke, A. Siegner, R.H.W. Funk and R. Salzer. Vibrational Spectroscopy. 2003; 32: 75-83.
5. I. Notingher, G. Jell, U. Lohbauer, V. Salih and L.L. Hench. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry. 2004; 92: 1180-1192.
6. I. Notingher, S. Verrier, S. Haque, J.M. Polak and L.L. Hench. Biolpolymers – Biospectroscopy, 2003; 72: 230-240.
7. I. Notingher, I. Bisson. A.E. Bishop, W.L. Randle, J.M.P. Polak and L.L. Hench. Analytical Chemistry. 2004; 76: 3185-3193.
8. McManus, L L, Burke, GA, Boyd, A, Meenan, BJ, O'Hare, P, McCafferty, M and Modreanu, M. Raman spectroscopic monitoring of the osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells. The Analyst, 2011; 136. pp. 2471-2481.
9. A. R. Boyd, G. A. Burke and B. J. Meenan. Monitoring cellular behaviour using Raman spectroscopy for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications. Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine. 2010; 21, 2317-2324.
First Supervisor: Boyd, AR Dr
Second Supervisor: Meenan, BJ Prof
Advisor: Burke, G Dr
Collaboration: This project does not involve collaboration with another establishment