Synchrotron Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) analysis of single living cells progressing through the cell cycle Academic Article uri icon


  • The application of FTIR spectroscopy to disease diagnosis requires a thorough knowledge of the spectroscopy associated with the cell cycle to discern disease markers from normal cellular events. We have applied synchrotron FTIR spectroscopy to monitor cells at different phases of the cell cycle namely G1, S and G2 phases. By applying Principal component analysis (PCA) from three independent trials we show clustering on a 2-dimensional scores plots (PC1 versus PC2) from cell spectra only two hours apart within the cell cycle. The corresponding PCA Loadings Plots indicate the clustering is primarily based on changes to the overall concentration of nucleic acids, proteins and lipids. During the first ten hours post mitosis, cells are observed to increase in protein and decrease in both lipid and nucleic acid concentration. During the synthesis phase, (beginning 9-11 hours post-mitosis) the PCA Loadings Plots show the accumulation of lipids within the cell as well the duplication of the genome as evidenced by strong DNA contributions. In the 4-6 hours following the synthesis phase, the cells once again accumulate protein while the relative nucleic acid and lipid concentrations decrease. These results, in comparison to previous studies on dehydrated cells, show previously unresolvable biochemical information as well as highlighting the advantages of FTIR spectroscopy applied to single living cells.


  • Whelan, Donna R
  • Bambery, Keith R
  • Puskar, Ljiljana
  • McNaughton, Don
  • Wood, Bayden R

publication date

  • 2013