Molecular profiling of lipid droplets inside HuH7 cells with Raman micro-spectroscopy

Ashok Zachariah Samuel, Rimi Miyaoka, Masahiro Ando, Anne Gaebler, Christoph Thiele, Haruko Takeyama*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Raman imaging has become an attractive technology in molecular biology because of its ability to detect multiple molecular components simultaneously without labeling. Two major limitations in accurately accounting for spectral features, viz., background removal and spectral unmixing, have been overcome by employing a modified and effective routine in multivariate curve resolution (MCR). With our improved strategy, we have spectrally isolated seven structurally specific biomolecules without any post-acquisition spectral treatments. Consequently, the isolated intensity profiles reflected concentrations of corresponding biomolecules with high statistical accuracy. Our study reveals the changes in the molecular composition of lipid droplets (LDs) inside HuH7 cells and its relation to the physiological state of the cell. Further, we show that the accurate separation of spectral components permits analysis of structural modification of molecules after cellular uptake. A detailed discussion is presented to highlight the potential of Raman spectroscopy with MCR in semi-quantitative molecular profiling of living cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number372
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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