Multimodal optical imaging of suspected tissues is showing to be a promising method for distinguishing suspected cancerous tissues from healthy ones. In particular, the combination of steady-state spectroscopic methods with timeresolved fluorescence provides more precise insight into native metabolism when focused on tissue autofluorescence. Cancer is linked to specific metabolic remodelation detectable spectroscopically. In this work, we evaluate possibilities and limitations of multimodal optical cancer detection in single cells, collagen-based 3D cell cultures and in living organisms (whole mice), as a representation of gradually increasing complexity of model systems.
Fabricated micro- and nano-structured surfaces were evaluated for use with living cells. Metabolic state was tested by means of endogenous flavin fluorescence of living peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) positioned on a coverslip, non-covered, or covered with micro- or nano-structured surfaces (OrmoComp polymer structures produced by 2-photon photopolymerisation, or Zinc Oxide (ZnO) layer fabricated by pulsed laser deposition). Confocal microscopy and Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy (FLIM) were employed to gather flavin fluorescence lifetime images of living PBMC on structured surfaces. Gathered data are the first step towards monitoring of the live cell interaction with different micro/nano-structured surfaces and thus evaluate their potential applicability in the biomedical field.
Early detection of cancer is crucial for the successful diagnostics of its presence and its subsequent treatment. To improve cancer detection, we tested the progressive multimodal optical imaging of U87MG cells in culture. A combination of steady-state spectroscopic methods with the time-resolved approach provides a new insight into the native metabolism when focused on endogenous tissue fluorescence. In this contribution, we evaluated the metabolic state of living U87MG cancer cells in culture by means of endogenous flavin fluorescence. Confocal microscopy and time-resolved fluorescence imaging were employed to gather spectrally and time-resolved images of the flavin fluorescence. We observed that flavin fluorescence in U87MG cells was predominantly localized outside the cell nucleus in mitochondria, while exhibiting a spectral maximum under 500 nm and fluorescence lifetimes under 1.4 ns, suggesting the presence of bound flavins. In some cells, flavin fluorescence was also detected inside the cell nuclei in the nucleoli, exhibiting longer fluorescence lifetimes and a red-shifted spectral maximum, pointing to the presence of free flavin. Extra-nuclear flavin fluorescence was diminished by 2-deoxyglucose, but failed to increase with 2,4-dinitrophenol, the uncoupler of oxidative phosphorylation, indicating that the cells use glycolysis, rather than oxidative phosphorylation for functioning. These gathered data are the first step toward monitoring the metabolic state of U87MG cancer cells.
Precise evaluation of intracellular cholesterol distribution is crucial for improving diagnostics of diseased states associated with cholesterol alteration. Time-resolved fluorescence techniques are tested for non-invasive investigation of cholesterol in living cells. Fluorescent probe NBD attached to cholesterol was employed to evaluate cholesterol distribution in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) isolated from the human blood. Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy (FLIM) was successfully applied to simultaneously monitor the spatial distribution and the timeresolved characteristics of the NBD-cholesterol fluorescence in PBMC. Gathered data are the first step in the development of a new perspective non-invasive diagnostic method for evaluation of cholesterol modifications in diseases associated with disorders of lipid metabolism.
The genus Gluconobacter is frequently used for biotechnological and/or nanotechnological applications. We studied
endogenous fluorescence of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (phosphate) (NAD(P)H), indicator of the oxidative
metabolic state in mammalian cells, in Gluconobacter oxydans (G. oxydans). Time-resolved measurements (excitation by 375nm pulsed diode laser) were employed to record the bacterial fluorescence intensity, as well as its modifications by metabolic modulation. Results were gathered on fresh bacteria, on de-frozen ones, as well as on bacteria encapsulated
in alginate beads. NAD(P)H fluorescence increased linearly with the concentration of bacteria. Freezing, which has little effect on the viability of bacteria or the concentration-dependent fluorescence rise, affected the temperature-dependence
of NAD(P)H fluorescence. Sodium cyanide (10 mM) provoked significant rise in the NAD(P)H fluorescence, while dinitrophenol (200 μM) induced its decrease, confirming the bacterial NAD(P)H fluorescence sensitivity to modulators of electron transport chain. Gathered results demonstrate that endogenous NAD(P)H fluorescence can be successfully
recorded in the bacterial strain G. oxydans using time-resolved measurements.