Raman spectroscopy of fibroblast cells from a Huntington’s disease patient

Dimitrios Tsikritsis, Alistair Elfick, Andrew Downes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a Raman spectroscopy case study of living fibroblast (skin) cells from a patient who developed Huntington’s disease, with fibroblasts from a healthy volunteer as a control. Spectra were processed to remove cosmic rays, had a spectrum of the quartz substrate subtracted, and were flattened to remove cellular autofluorescence. We achieved an accuracy of 95% in discriminating individual cells, and assign spectral differences to (i) a reduction of cholesterol, (ii) a reduction of lipids and (iii) an increase in beta-sheet proteins for fibroblasts with Huntington’s disease. All these biochemical changes have been previously measured by other methods. Averages over all the cells in this study, yield a difference which is extremely statistically significant [p<0.0001].
Original languageEnglish
JournalSpectroscopy Letters
Early online date22 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Raman spectroscopy
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Principal component analysis (PCA)

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