Spectral fingerprinting of cellular lipid droplets using stimulated Raman scattering microscopy and chemometric analysis

Aurélie Rensonnet, William J. Tipping, Cedric Malherbe, Karen Faulds, Gauthier Eppe, Duncan Graham

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Abstract

Hyperspectral stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) microscopy is a powerful method for direct visualisation and compositional analysis of cellular lipid droplets. Here we report the application of spectral phasor analysis as a convenient method for the segmentation of lipid droplets using the hyperspectral SRS spectrum in the high wavenumber and fingerprint region of the spectrum. Spectral phasor analysis was shown to discriminate six fatty acids based on vibrational spectroscopic features in solution. The methodology was then applied to studying fatty acid metabolism and storage in a mammalian cancer cell model and during drug-induced steatosis in a hepatocellular carcinoma cell model. The accumulation of fatty acids into cellular lipid droplets was shown to vary as a function of the degree of unsaturation, whilst in a model of drug-induced steatosis, the detection of increased saturated fatty acid esters was observed. Taking advantage of the fingerprint and high wavenumber regions of the SRS spectrum has yielded a greater insight into lipid droplet composition in a cellular context. This approach will find application in the label-free profiling of intracellular lipids in complex disease models.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalAnalyst
Early online date7 Dec 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Dec 2023

Keywords

  • lipid droplets
  • spectral phasor analysis
  • stimulated Raman scattering
  • microscopy

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