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Phasor FLIM metabolic mapping of stem cells and cancer cells in live tissues

Published Web Location Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

We use the phasor approach to fluorescence lifetime imaging and intrinsic biochemical fluorescence biomarkers in conjunction with image segmentation and the concept of cell phasor for deriving metabolic maps of cells and living tissues in vivo. In issues we identify and separate intrinsic fluorophores such as collagen, retinol, retinoic acid, porphyrin, flavins, free and bound nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH). Metabolic signatures of tissues are obtained by calculating the phasor fingerprint of single cells and by mapping the relative concentration of metabolites. This method detects small changes in metabolic signatures and redox states of cells. Phasor fingerprints of stem cells cluster according to their differentiation state in a living tissue such as the C. elegans germ line and the crypt base of small intestine and colon. Phasor FLIM provides a label-free and fit-free sensitive method to identify metabolic states of cells and to classify stem cells, normal differentiated cells and cancer cells both in vitro and in a live tissue. Our method could identify symmetric and asymmetric divisions, predict cell fate and identify pre-cancer stages in vivo. This method is a promising non-invasive optical tool for monitoring metabolic pathways during differentiation and carcinogenesis, for cell sorting and high throughput screening. © 2012 Copyright Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).

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