Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy is a label-free analytical technique used to evaluate the chemical profile of a sample based on its molecular vibrations. The potential dermatological applications of FTIR spectroscopy has been well demonstrated over the past decades through many proof-of-concept studies evaluating cancerous and non-cancerous cutaneous diseases. Considering that the correctly identification of skin components plays an important role in the study of cutaneous diseases, the present study aims to evaluate the spectrochemical signatures of dermis and epidermis based on the pixels of a FTIR hyperspectral image collected from healthy skin.
In this study, FTIR spectroscopy was used to evaluate the overall biochemical status of necrotic tissue areas of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma chemically-induced on mice. FTIR hyperspectral image collected from specimen showed high correlation with the photomicrograph obtained by light microscopy, in which we were able to identify clusters associated to keratin, necrosis and regions with no tissue. Alterations in the protein content were documented in the necrotic tissue areas, indicating changes on protein conformation.
Nonmelanoma skin cancers are the most common form of malignancy in humans. Between the traditional treatment ways, the photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a promising alternative which is minimally invasive and do not requires surgical intervention or exposure to ionizing radiation. The understanding of the cascade of effects playing role in PDT is not fully understood, so that define and understand the biochemical events caused by photodynamic effect will hopefully result in designing better PDT protocols. In this study we investigated the potential of the FTIR spectroscopy to assess the biochemical changes caused by photodynamic therapy after 10 and 20 days of treatment using 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) as precursor of the photosensitizer photoporphyrin IX (PpIX). The amplitude values of second derivative from vibrational modes obtained with FTIR spectroscopy showed similar behavior with the morphological features observed in histopathological analysis, which showed active lesions even 20 days after PDT. Thus, the technique has the potential to be used to complement the investigation of the main biochemical changes that photodynamic therapy promotes in tissue.