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Volume 24, Issue 5, Pages 525-534

In situ FTIR studies on mammalian cells

Willem F. Wolkers1,3 and Harriëtte Oldenhof2

1Institute of Multiphase Processes, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Hannover, Germany
2Clinic for Horses–Unit for Reproductive Medicine, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Hannover, Germany
3Institute of Multiphase Processes, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Callinstrasse 36, 30167 Hannover, Germany

Copyright © 2010 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.


In this work, we describe the application of FTIR spectroscopy to study lipids and proteins, in cellular systems during heating and cooling. Various spectral analysis methods are described to simultaneously study membrane phase behavior and heat-induced protein denaturation in cells. Membrane phase behavior was studied by following the temperature dependence of the CH2 stretching vibration bands. Protein denaturation was studied using the amide-I and -III bands. Both amide-I and amide-III band analysis show that heat-induced denaturation of proteins within the cells is typically associated with an increase in extended β-sheet structures and a concomitant decrease in α-helical structures.