Issue 6, 2015

Making colourful sense of Raman images of single cells


In order to understand biological systems it is important to gain pertinent information on the spatial localisation of chemicals within cells. With the relatively recent advent of high-resolution chemical imaging this is being realised and one rapidly developing area of research is the Raman mapping of single cells, an approach whose success has vast potential for numerous areas of biomedical research. However, there is a danger of undermining the potential routine use of Raman mapping due to a lack of consistency and transparency in the way false-shaded Raman images are constructed. In this study we demonstrate, through the use of simulated data and real Raman maps of single human keratinocyte (HaCaT) cells, how changes in the application of colour shading can dramatically alter the final Raman images. In order to avoid ambiguity and potential subjectivity in image interpretation we suggest that data distribution plots are used to aid shading approaches and that extreme care is taken to use the most appropriate false-shading for the biomedical question under investigation.

Graphical abstract: Making colourful sense of Raman images of single cells

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
15 Dec 2014
03 Feb 2015
First published
03 Feb 2015
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Analyst, 2015,140, 1852-1858

Author version available

Making colourful sense of Raman images of single cells

L. Ashton, K. A. Hollywood and R. Goodacre, Analyst, 2015, 140, 1852 DOI: 10.1039/C4AN02298J

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