SERS-based particle tracking and molecular imaging in live cells: toward the monitoring of intracellular dynamics†
Although diverse endogenous biomolecules involved in life processes are of major interest in cell biology, there is still a lack of suitable methods for studying biomolecules within live cells without labelling. Herein, we describe a near-infrared (NIR) surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)-based particle tracking technique gathering chemical information inside live cells for monitoring their intracellular dynamics. The wide-field SERS imaging spectroscopy system facilitates high temporal resolution (200 ms) under high spatial resolution (512 × 512 pixels) for one live cell. With high spatiotemporal resolution and signal-to-background ratio, we show that the Raman signal from intracellular cargoes in live cells is sporadically observed and localized to a vesicular level.