Agilent Enlarges Our View of Individual Cells

Last year, Agilent introduced two new microscopes with breakthrough capabilities.  Scientists are now discovering what these powerful new instruments can accomplish in the lab.

Agilent’s bench-top Cary 610 and Cary 620 FTIR spectrometer microscopes offer new standards in spatial resolution, field of view and processing time.  Previously, images at this resolution could only be obtained from a building-sized particle accelerator.

In a recent study, UK scientists were able to obtain infrared images of individual cells with a resolution of one pixel per micron (a millionth of a meter).  This is the first time such images have been possible using a bench-top instrument.

The scientists examined two kinds of cells that are particularly challenging to analyze.  Renal carcinoma cells (kidney cancer cells) suffer from strong scattering.  Conversely, skin fibroblast cells (cells that produce collagen) deliver extremely weak signals.

Scientists can now examine the spectral profile of an individual cell using a bench-top instrument, enabling them to study biochemical changes at the single-cell level.  This may help researchers to better understand and model drug-cell interactions, as well as develop new methods for high-throughput pharmaceutical testing.

Thermal images were captured using an Agilent Cary 670-IR spectrometer coupled with a Cary 620-IR imaging microscope.

Cell imaging





From left: a photo-micrograph of three individual cells, thermal images at normal- and high-magnification imaging modes. (Images from  © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2015.)

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