Multimodal discrimination of immune cells using a combination of Raman spectroscopy and digital holographic microscopy

Naomi McReynolds, Fiona G. M. Cooke, Mingzhou Chen, Simon J. Powis, and Kishan Dholakia

Scientific Reports 7, 43631 (2017)

doi: 10.1038/srep43631

The ability to identify and characterise individual cells of the immune system under label-free conditions would be a significant advantage in biomedical and clinical studies where untouched and unmodified cells are required. We present a multi-modal system capable of simultaneously acquiring both single point Raman spectra and digital holographic images of single cells. We use this combined approach to identify and discriminate between immune cell populations CD4+ T cells, B cells and monocytes. We investigate several approaches to interpret the phase images including signal intensity histograms and texture analysis. Both modalities are independently able to discriminate between cell subsets and dual-modality may therefore be used a means for validation. We demonstrate here sensitivities achieved in the range of 86.8% to 100%, and specificities in the range of 85.4% to 100%. Additionally each modality provides information not available from the other providing both a molecular and a morphological signature of each cell.