Raman molecular imaging of brain frozen tissue sections

Rachel E. Kast, Gregory W. Auner, Mark L. Rosenblum, Tom Mikkelsen, Sally M. Yurgelevic, Aditya Raghunathan, Laila M. Poisson, Steven N. Kalkanis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Raman spectroscopy provides a molecular signature of the region being studied. It is ideal for neurosurgical applications because it is non-destructive, label-free, not impacted by water concentration, and can map an entire region of tissue. The objective of this paper is to demonstrate the meaningful spatial molecular information provided by Raman spectroscopy for identification of regions of normal brain, necrosis, diffusely infiltrating glioma and solid glioblastoma (GBM). Five frozen section tissues (1 normal, 1 necrotic, 1 GBM, and 2 infiltrating glioma) were mapped in their entirety using a 300-µm-square step size. Smaller regions of interest were also mapped using a 25-µm step size. The relative concentrations of relevant biomolecules were mapped across all tissues and compared with adjacent hematoxylin and eosin-stained sections, allowing identification of normal, GBM, and necrotic regions. Raman peaks and peak ratios mapped included 1003, 1313, 1431, 1585, and 1659 cm−1. Tissue maps identified boundaries of grey and white matter, necrosis, GBM, and infiltrating tumor. Complementary information, including relative concentration of lipids, protein, nucleic acid, and hemoglobin, was presented in a manner which can be easily adapted for in vivo tissue mapping. Raman spectroscopy can successfully provide label-free imaging of tissue characteristics with high accuracy. It can be translated to a surgical or laboratory tool for rapid, non-destructive imaging of tumor margins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-62
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of neuro-oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 27 2014


  • Glioblastoma
  • Necrosis
  • Raman imaging
  • Raman spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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