Optical Spectroscopy for Noninvasive Monitoring of Stem Cell Differentiation

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There is a requirement for a noninvasive technique to monitor stem cell differentiation. Several candidates based on optical spectroscopy are discussed in this review: Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy. These techniques are briefly described, and the ability of each to distinguish undifferentiated from differentiated cells is discussed. FTIR spectroscopy has demonstrated its ability to distinguish between stem cells and their derivatives. Raman spectroscopy shows a clear reduction in DNA and RNA concentrations during embryonic stem cell differentiation (agreeing with the well-known reduction in the nucleus to cytoplasm ratio) and also shows clear increases in mineral content during differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells. CARS microscopy can map these DNA, RNA, and mineral concentrations at high speed, andMutliplex CARS spectroscopy/microscopy is highlighted as the technique with most promise for future applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101864
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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