Optical methodology for detecting histologically unapparent nanoscale consequences of genetic alterations in biological cells

Hariharan Subramanian*, Prabhakar Pradhan, Yang Liu, Ilker R. Capoglu, Xu Li, Jeremy D. Rogers, Alexander Heifetz, Dhananjay Kunte, Hemant K. Roy, Allen Taflove, Vadim Backman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

110 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recently, there has been a major thrust to understand biological processes at the nanoscale. Optical microscopy has been exceedingly useful in imaging cell microarchitecture. Characterization of cell organization at the nanoscale, however, has been stymied by the lack of practical means of cell analysis at these small scales. To address this need, we developed a microscopic spectroscopy technique, single-cell partial-wave spectroscopy (PWS), which provides insights into the statistical properties of the nanoscale architecture of biological cells beyond what conventional microscopy reveals. Coupled with the mesoscopic light transport theory, PWS quanti-fies the disorder strength of intracellular architecture. As an illustration of the potential of the technique, in the experiments with cell lines and an animal model of colon carcinogenesis we show that increase in the degree of disorder in cell nanoarchitecture parallels genetic events in the early stages of carcinogenesis in otherwise microscopically/histologically normal-appearing cells. These data indicate that this advance in single-cell optics represented by PWS may have significant biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20118-20123
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume105
Issue number51
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 23 2008

Keywords

  • Light-scattering spectroscopy
  • Nanoarchitecture
  • Subdiffusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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