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J Phys Chem B. 2013 Apr 25;117(16):4634-40. doi: 10.1021/jp308938t. Epub 2013 Jan 18.

Hyperspectral imaging with stimulated Raman scattering by chirped femtosecond lasers.

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Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.


Raman microscopy is a quantitative, label-free, and noninvasive optical imaging technique for studying inhomogeneous systems. However, the feebleness of Raman scattering significantly limits the use of Raman microscopy to low time resolutions and primarily static samples. Recent developments in narrowband stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) microscopy have significantly increased the acquisition speed of Raman based label-free imaging by a few orders of magnitude, at the expense of reduced spectroscopic information. On the basis of a spectral focusing approach, we present a fast SRS hyperspectral imaging system using chirped femtosecond lasers to achieve rapid Raman spectra acquisition while retaining the full speed and image quality of narrowband SRS imaging. We demonstrate that quantitative concentration determination of cholesterol in the presence of interfering chemical species can be achieved with sensitivity down to 4 mM. For imaging purposes, hyperspectral imaging data in the C-H stretching region is obtained within a minute. We show that mammalian cell SRS hyperspectral imaging reveals the spatially inhomogeneous distribution of saturated lipids, unsaturated lipids, cholesterol, and protein. The combination of fast spectroscopy and label-free chemical imaging will enable new applications in studying biological systems and material systems.

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