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Volume 15 (2001), Issue 2, Pages 57-64

FTIR microscopy as a method for detection of retrovirally transformed cells

Mahmoud Huleihel, Marina Talyshinsky, and Vitaly Erukhimovitch

The Institute for Applied Biosciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, POB 653, Beer-Sheva 84105, Israel

Copyright © 2001 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy is a unique technique that has potential for the optical diagnosis of cellular variations based on the characteristic molecular vibrational spectra of the cells. In the present study, a refinement of this technique − FTIR microscopy − was used in a mouse model to investigate spectral differences between primary cells and malignant cells transformed by murine sarcoma virus (MuSV). The advantage of FTIR microscopy is that it facilitates inspection of a restricted region of cell growth on a slide. A significant decrease in the intensities of the spectra was seen in malignant cells transformed by MuSV compared to primary normal cells. Also, there was a significant shift in the PO2 symmetric stretching mode from 1082 cm−1 for normal cells to 1086 cm−1 for malignant cells. Detectable and consistent differences between normal primary and malignant cells were evident in the shapes and positions of a number of peaks in the FTIR spectra. Our results indicated that FTIR microscopy has potential as a diagnostic method for the detection of malignant cells.