Looking at Lipids

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Science  19 Dec 2008:
Vol. 322, Issue 5909, pp. 1753
DOI: 10.1126/science.322.5909.1753j

Amethod for label-free microscopy of fatty acids, drugs, and metabolites in live cells and tissues would be useful for a variety of biomedical, developmental, and cell biological studies. Characteristic Raman scattering frequencies provide signatures for various chemical bonds; however, imaging methods based on Raman scattering have been limited by low sensitivity and high nonresonant backgrounds. Freudiger et al. (p. 1857) now report a three-dimensional imaging technique based on stimulated Raman scattering that achieves background-free chemical contrast with relatively high sensitivity. They apply the method to image lipids in living cells and tissues, and to monitor drug delivery through the epidermis.

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