Label-free cytometric evaluation of mitosis via stimulated Raman scattering microscopy and spectral phasor analysis

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Hyperspectral stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) microscopy is a robust imaging tool for the analysis of biological systems. Here we present a unique perspective, a label-free spatiotemporal map of mitosis by integrating hyperspectral SRS microscopy with advanced chemometrics to assess the intrinsic biomolecular properties of an essential process of mammalian life. The application of spectral phasor analysis to multi-wavelength SRS images in the high-wavenumber (HWN) region of the Raman spectrum enabled the segmentation of subcellular organelles based on innate SRS spectra. Traditional imaging of DNA is primarily reliant on using fluorescent probes or stains which can affect the biophysical properties of the cell, here we demonstrate the label-free visualization of nuclear dynamics during mitosis coupled with an evaluation of its spectral profile in a rapid and reproducible manner. These results provide a snapshot of the cell division cycle and chemical variability between intracellular compartments in single cell models, which is central to understanding the molecular foundations of these fundamental biological processes. The evaluation of HWN images by phasor analysis also facilitated the differentiation between cells in separate phases of the cell cycle based solely on their nuclear SRS spectral signal, which offers an interesting label-free approach in combination with flow cytometry. Therefore this study demonstrates that SRS microscopy combined with spectral phasor analysis is a valuable method for detailed optical fingerprinting at the subcellular level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7244-7253
Number of pages10
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number18
Early online date25 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2023


  • SRS
  • Raman scattering
  • spectral phasor analysis
  • mitosis


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