Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy is a vibrational technique that gives information on the chemical composition of a sample, providing a 'molecular fingerprint' of it. It is a powerful approach to study intact cells. The aim of the present study was to analyse and quantify apoptotic cells by using a FTIR approach based on attenuated total reflection (ATR). We incubated human HL60 leukaemic cells with camptothecin, a cytotoxic drug, and monitored apoptosis induction over a period of time. Several ATR-FTIR spectral changes occurred during the apoptotic process. In particular, we observed that the apoptotic index was inversely correlated with the spectral area in the region 1200-900 cm-1, assigned to the absorption of nucleic acids. We therefore propose that ATR-FTIR spectral features maybe used as a diagnostic marker of apoptotic cells.
- Attenuated total reflection
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