Label-Free Raman Imaging to Monitor Breast Tumor Signatures

John Ciubuc, University of Texas at El Paso


Methods built on Raman spectroscopy have shown major potential in describing and discriminating between malignant and benign specimens. Accurate, real-time medical diagnosis benefits in substantial improvements through this vibrational optical method. Not only is acquisition of data possible in milliseconds and analysis in minutes, Raman allows concurrent detection and monitoring of all biological components. Besides validating a significant Raman signature distinction between non-tumorigenic (MCF-10A) and tumorigenic (MCF-7) breast epithelial cells, this study reveals a label-free method to assess overexpression of epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) in tumor cells. EGFR overexpression sires Raman features associated with phosphorylated threonine and serine, and modifications of DNA/RNA characteristics. Investigations by gel electrophoresis reveal EGF induction of phosphorylated Akt, agreeing with the Raman results. The analysis presented is a vital step toward Raman-based evaluation of EGF receptors in breast cancer cells. With the goal of clinically applying Raman-guided methods for diagnosis of breast tumors, the current results lay the basis for proving label-free optical alternatives in making prognosis of the disease.

Subject Area

Biomedical engineering|Physics|Bioinformatics

Recommended Citation

Ciubuc, John, "Label-Free Raman Imaging to Monitor Breast Tumor Signatures" (2017). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10277016.