Optimisation of Wavelength Modulated Raman Spectroscopy: Towards High Throughput Cell Screening

B. B. Praveen, M. Mazilu, R. F. Marchinton, C. S. Herrington, A. Riches, and K. Dholakia

PLoS One 8, e67211 (2013)

doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067211

In the field of biomedicine, Raman spectroscopy is a powerful technique to discriminate between normal and cancerous cells. However the strong background signal from the sample and the instrumentation affects the efficiency of this discrimination technique. Wavelength Modulated Raman spectroscopy (WMRS) may suppress the background from the Raman spectra. In this study we demonstrate a systematic approach for optimizing the various parameters of WMRS to achieve a reduction in the acquisition time for potential applications such as higher throughput cell screening. The Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) of the Raman bands depends on the modulation amplitude, time constant and total acquisition time. It was observed that the sampling rate does not influence the signal to noise ratio of the Raman bands if three or more wavelengths are sampled. With these optimised WMRS parameters, we increased the throughput in the binary classification of normal human urothelial cells and bladder cancer cells by reducing the total acquisition time to 6 s which is significantly lower in comparison to previous acquisition times required for the discrimination between similar cell types.