Synchrotron InfraRed Nanospectroscopy has been used for the first time to measure biomolecular changes induced by a drug (amiodarone) within human cells (macrophages) and localized at 100 nanometre scale, i.e. two orders of magnitude smaller than the IR wavelength used as probe.
This was achieved at the Multimode InfraRed Imaging and Micro-Spectroscopy (MIRIAM) beamline (B22) at Diamond Light Source, the UK's national synchrotron facility.
This is a major scientific result in Life Sciences shared by an international team, as a collaborative beamtime among the researchers from the School of Cancer and Pharmaceutical Science at Kings College London, the Department of Pharmaceutical Technology and Bio-pharmacy at University of Vienna, and the scientists of the MIRIAM B22 beamline at Diamond.
Their recent paper, now published in Analytical Chemistry, is titled "Synchrotron photothermal IR Nanospectroscopy of macrophages drug-induced phospholipidosis" 10.1021/acs.analchem.9b05759 It outlinesthe application of the so-called Resonance Enhanced InfraRed Atomic Force Microscopy (RE AFM IR) by Synchrotron Radiation, to interrogate biological matter at the subcellular level, in this case a cellular model of drug-induced phospholipidosis (DIPL).
Instead of the traditional method to evaluate DIPL - i.e. visual confirmation by electron microscopy of the lipid bodies or the use of fluorescence labeling technique - they used IR broadband illumination by Diamond synchrotron together with AFM detection to achieve both molecular specificity and enhanced spatial resolution needed to localize metabolic changes within the cell.
Dr Andrew Chan of King's College London as principal investigator explains, "The model study based on J774A-1 macrophages exposed/not exposed to amiodarone has clearly demonstrated that RE AFM IR with synchrotron radiation is capable of extracting local molecular information from small organelles within a single cell in a label-free manner."
This is remarkable because the determination of lipid content in vacuoles is crucial in the study of DIPL. This will have high impacts on the development of inhaled medicines whereby DIPL is one of the key indications of adverse response from the body to foreign particles." Dr Andrew Chan, Principal Investigator, King's College London
AFM topography maps showed amiodarone-treated cells had enlarged cytoplasm, and thin regions of collapsed vesicles. The Infra Red (IR) maps of the whole cell were analysed by exploiting the IR overall signal versus AFM-derived cell thickness, also on lateral resolution around 100 nm. Vibrational band assignment of the nanospectra was possible too: all characteristic peaks for lipids, proteins, and DNA/RNA were identified. Related Stories
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