, Volume 29, Issue 2-3, pp 275-286

Synchrotron-Based FTIR Spectromicroscopy: Cytotoxicity and Heating Considerations

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Synchrotron radiation-based Fouriertransform infrared (SR-FTIR)spectromicroscopy is a newly emergingbioanalytical and imaging tool. This uniquetechnique provides mid-infrared (IR)spectra, hence chemical information, withhigh signal-to-noise at spatial resolutionsas fine as 3 to 10 microns. Thus it enablesresearchers to locate, identify, and trackspecific chemical events within anindividual living mammalian cell. Mid-IRphotons are too low in energy (0.05–0.5eV) to either break bonds or to causeionization. In this review, we show thatthe synchrotron IR beam has no detectableeffects on the short- and long-termviability, reproductive integrity,cell-cycle progression, and mitochondrialmetabolism in living human cells, andproduces only minimal sample heating (<0.5°C). These studies haveestablished an important foundation forSR-FTIR spectromicroscopy in biological andbiomedical research.