Measurement of relative fluorescence intensities of NAD(P)H and FAD with fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) allows metabolic characterization of cancerous populations and correlation to treatment response. However, quiescent populations of cancer cells introduce heterogeneity to the tumor and exhibit resistance to standard therapies, requiring a better understanding of this influence on treatment outcome. Significant differences were observed between proliferating and quiescent cell populations upon comparison of respective redox ratios (p<0.05) and FAD lifetimes (p<0.05) across monolayers and in mixed samples. These results demonstrate that metabolic activity may function as a marker for separation and characterization of proliferating and quiescent cancer cells within mixed samples, contributing to comprehensive investigation of heterogeneity-dependent drug resistance.
Tiffany M. Heaster, Alex J. Walsh, and Melissa C. Skala, "Differentiating quiescent cancer cell populations in heterogeneous samples with fluorescence lifetime imaging," Proc. SPIE 9719, Biophysics, Biology, and Biophotonics: the Crossroads, 97190L (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 14, 2016; Published: 9 March 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2211734.
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