Paper – Chemotherapeutic Response in Human Breast Cancer Cells

Chemotherapeutic response to cisplatin-like drugs in human breast cancer cells probed by vibrational microspectroscopy

A. L. M. Batista de Carvalho, M. Pilling, P. Gardner, J. Doherty, G. Cinque, K. Wehbe,
C. Kelley, L. A. E. Batista de Carvalho and   M. P. M. Marques
Faraday Discuss., 2016,187, 273-298

DOI: 10.1039/C5FD00148J

Studies of drug–cell interactions in cancer model systems are essential in the preclinical stage of rational drug design, which relies on a thorough understanding of the mechanisms underlying cytotoxic activity and biological effects, at a molecular level. This study aimed at applying complementary vibrational spectroscopy methods to evaluate the cellular impact of two Pt(II) and Pd(II) dinuclear chelates with spermine (Pt2Spm and Pd2Spm), using cisplatin (cis-Pt(NH3)2Cl2) as a reference compound. Their effects on cellular metabolism were monitored in a human triple-negative metastatic breast cancer cell line (MDA-MB-231) by Raman and synchrotron-radiation infrared microspectroscopies, for different drug concentrations (2–8 μM) at 48 h exposure. Continue reading

Paper – High-Throughput QCL Spectral Histopathology

High-throughput quantum cascade laser (QCL) spectral histopathology: a practical approach towards clinical translation

M. J. Pilling, A. Henderson, B. Bird,  M. D. Brown, N. W. Clarke and P. Gardner
Faraday Discuss., 2016,187, 135-154

DOI: 10.1039/C5FD00176E


Infrared microscopy has become one of the key techniques in the biomedical research field for interrogating tissue. In partnership with multivariate analysis and machine learning techniques, it has become widely accepted as a method that can distinguish between normal and cancerous tissue with both high sensitivity and high specificity. While spectral histopathology (SHP) is highly promising for improved clinical diagnosis, several practical barriers currently exist, which need to be addressed before successful implementation in the clinic. Sample throughput and speed of acquisition are key barriers and have been driven by the high volume of samples awaiting histopathological examination.

Paper – FTIR of biological materials

Using Fourier transform IR spectroscopy to analyze biological materials
Matthew J Baker, Júlio Trevisan, Paul Bassan, Rohit Bhargava, Holly J Butler, Konrad M Dorling, Peter R Fielden, Simon W Fogarty, Nigel J Fullwood, Kelly A Heys, Caryn Hughes, Peter Lasch, Pierre L Martin-Hirsch, Blessing Obinaju, Ganesh D Sockalingum, Josep Sulé-Suso, Rebecca J Strong, Michael J Walsh, Bayden R Wood, Peter Gardner & Francis L Martin
Nature Protocols 9 (2014) 1771–1791

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Paper – Quantum cascade laser microscopy of tissue microarrays

Open Access

Large scale infrared imaging of tissue micro arrays (TMAs) using a tunable Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) based microscope
Paul Bassan, Miles J. Weida, Jeremy Rowlette and Peter Gardner
Analyst (2014)


Chemical imaging in the field of vibrational spectroscopy is developing into a promising tool to complement digital histopathology. Applications include screening of biopsy tissue via automated recognition of tissue/cell type and disease state based on the chemical information from the spectrum. For integration into clinical practice, data acquisition needs to be speeded up to implement a rack based system where specimens are rapidly imaged to compete with current visible scanners where 100’s of slides can be scanned overnight. Continue reading

Paper – High-throughput tissue imaging

Automated high-throughput assessment of prostate biopsy tissue using infrared spectroscopic chemical imaging
Paul Bassan, Ashwin Sachdeva, Jonathan H. Shanks, Mick D. Brown, Noel W. Clarke and Peter Gardner
Proc. SPIE 9041, Medical Imaging 2014: Digital Pathology, 90410D 9041 (2014)


Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) chemical imaging has been demonstrated as a promising technique to complement histopathological assessment of biomedical tissue samples. Current histopathology practice involves preparing thin tissue sections and staining them using hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) after which a histopathologist manually assess the tissue architecture under a visible microscope. Studies have shown that there is disagreement between operators viewing the same tissue suggesting that a complementary technique for verification could improve the robustness of the evaluation, and improve patient care. Continue reading

Paper – FTIR analysis of blood serum

Open Access

Assessing the challenges of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic analysis of blood serum
Caryn Hughes, Michael Brown, Graeme Clemens, Alex Henderson, Geraldine Monjardez, Noel W. Clarke and Peter Gardner
Journal of Biophotonics (2014) [OPEN ACCESS]


There are many approaches to measuring the infrared spectrum of a blood serum sample. Naturally, each approach will have both advantages and disadvantages. We report on the progress of the application of infrared spectroscopy in the field of blood serum analysis towards clinical application, with a focus on prostate cancer. In order to perform a high-powered study with clinical relevance, choosing the most suitable approach must undergo careful consideration. We review the possibilities of using different sample preparation methods and speculate upon the potential pitfalls of both transmission and attenuated total reflectance (ATR) techniques.