Angularly resolved elastic scattering microscopy enables the size distribution of cellular organelles to be estimated non-invasively. By comparing the angular distribution of light scattered from a cell to Mie theory models, our group is working towards obtaining quantitative estimates of mean organelle size within single cells and tracking them over time. These estimates can then be used to assess the health of the cell. We are now testing our system’s performance in measuring induced size changes in HeLa cells undergoing apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Apoptosis is induced in these cells by exposing them to a Fas ligand. Because the response of the cell occurs on the scale of a few hours, we can take multiple measurements of many cells individually before they show changes that would be visible with traditional microscopy. Additionally, we take measurements prior to exposing cells to the ligand to establish the baseline fluctuations in the organelle size estimates. Our goal is to find optical signatures that characterize the cellular progression prior to the final, most extreme stages of the apoptotic process. We would then be able to look at the behavior of multiple cells and predict when each cell will die.
Robert Draham and Andrew J. Berger, "Angular scattering of induced apoptosis in HeLa cells (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10497, Imaging, Manipulation, and Analysis of Biomolecules, Cells, and Tissues XVI, 1049710 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 31, 2018; Published: 14 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2292585.5751470582001.
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