Plasmon-enhanced Raman spectroscopic metrics for in situ quantitative and dynamic assays of cell apoptosis and necrosis
Apoptosis and necrosis are distinct cell death processes related to many cellular pathways. In situ, quantitatively and dynamically monitoring such processes may provide vitally important information for cell studies. However, such a method still remains elusive, even though current immunochemical methodologies have developed extremely valuable tools. Herein, we demonstrate Raman spectroscopic metrics for validating and quantifying apoptotic and necrotic cells based on their distinct molecular vibrational fingerprints. It not only allows us to quantify apoptotic and necrotic cell populations in situ in adherent cell samples, but also to be capable of continuously monitoring the dynamical processes of apoptosis and necrosis at the same time in one sample. This method provides comparable results with the “gold standard” of flow cytometry, moreover, with several incomparable advantages. Our work offers a powerful new tool for cell apoptosis and necrosis assays and is expected to become a benchmark technology in biological and medical studies.