For the 15th time, WITec’s Confocal Raman Imaging Symposium will serve as the foremost platform for the Raman microscopy community to share recent developments and discuss the finer points of the technique. The annual international conference for chemical characterization and imaging will be held from September 24th to the 26th, 2018 in Ulm, Germany.
The Symposium is a well-established forum for scientists from academia and industry of various levels of experience and areas of application. The conference schedule includes talks, poster sessions, instrument demonstrations and social events to foster the transfer of knowledge and experience between the conference attendees.
Lecture sessions in the fields of nanotechnology and low-dimensional materials, geo sciences, materials sciences, life sciences and pharmaceutics will provide a vivid overview of Raman microscopy applications. The latest developments in Raman instrumentation and technology will also be covered extensively.
A special item on the conference schedule is the evening lecture of Vince Ebert, a German physicist and science comedian, who will illuminate the humorous side of science.
For more information on the conference program, speakers and registration, please visit: www.raman-symposium.com
Every year WITec, the Raman imaging company, recognizes three peer-reviewed publications that stand out in terms of originality and significance and feature data acquired with a WITec microscope. This year, scientists from universities and institutes in Bochum, Bayreuth and Minneapolis received the awards. Some 80 publications were submitted, all documenting the versatility of confocal Raman imaging for the investigation of materials.
The Gold Paper Award
The Gold Paper Award goes to Hesham K. Yosef. With his colleagues from the Department of Biophysics, headed by Klaus Gerwert, and coworkers from other institutes at Ruhr-University Bochum (Germany) he developed a new, non-invasive approach based on Raman imaging for the detection of urothelial carcinoma cells in urine. Urothelial carcinomas constitute the majority of bladder tumors. Noninvasive, painless methods are urgently wanted for the diagnosis of this cancer and the monitoring of the treatment outcome. The scientists first identified differences in the Raman spectra of healthy and high-grade cancerous cells in urine. The most prominent differences in Raman bands indicated a decrease in the level of glycogen and an increase in the levels of fatty acids in the tumor cells, illustrating distinct metabolic changes. The scientists then developed and trained a classifier that could differentiate healthy from cancerous urothelial cells by their Raman spectra. A Raman band at 482 relative wavenumbers, indicating a massive loss of glycogen in tumor cells, emerged as a highly reliable marker. A first validation test on the urine of ten diagnosed and ten healthy patients was performed and the classifier diagnosed all samples automatically with 100% accuracy. First author of the publication, Hesham K. Yosef, says that he is convinced that, “The results will pave the way for spectral, noninvasive cytology of urine using Raman microspectroscopy.”
The Silver Paper Award
Mimicking biological structures with interesting functional features is a thriving field of research. Marvin Gernhardt, Holger Schmalz, Seema Agarwal and coworkers at the Chair of Macromolecular Chemistry II, University of Bayreuth, and the Bavarian Polymer Institute (Germany) were inspired by biological fibers and developed new fibers with distinct structures. They produced the fibers by side-by-side electrospinning of a thermo-responsive polymer and methacrylate-based copolymer. By changing the spinning solvents they fabricated side-by-side and coaxial bead-on-string fibers and analyzed these in detail with correlative Raman imaging, atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The scientists concluded: “The work opens the way for the construction of heterostructured fiber morphologies based on different polymer combinations, offering high potential for applications as actuators, smart textiles, water management and catalysis.”
The Bronze Paper Award
Guanglin Yu receives the Bronze Paper Award. He and his colleagues from the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis (USA) analyzed, when and how ice crystals develop in cells during freezing. Cryopreservation is a common method used to store cells, however not all cells survive the procedure. It has been hypothesized that a high cooling rate leads to the death of cells because of intercellular ice formation. How that happens is still a matter of debate. The researchers used confocal Raman imaging to monitor the freezing response of lymphoblasts under various conditions during the cryopreservation process. Ice crystals, cell mass and protective substances could be easily imaged and identified by their Raman spectra. As a parameter of cell death, they used a Raman signal indicating the release of cytochromec from mitochondria. The imaging study showed that only the formation of large intracellular ice crystals (> 2 μm) is deadly for the cells and that a mixture of glycerol and trehalose prevented cell death most efficiently at a cooling rate of 10°C per minute. “Raman spectromicroscopy provides a powerful tool for observing IIF [intracellular ice formation] and understanding its role in cell death during freezing, and enables the development, to our knowledge, of new and improved cell preservation protocols,” concluded the authors in their paper.
2018 WITec Paper Award Winners
GOLD: Hesham K. Yosef, Sascha D. Krauß, Tatjana Lechtonen, Hendrik Jütte, Andrea Tannapfel, Heiko U. Käfferlein Thomas Brüning, Florian Roghmann, Joachim Noldus, Axel Mosig, Samir F. El-Mashtoly and Klaus Gerwert: Noninvasive diagnosis of high-grade urothelial carcinoma in urine by Raman spectral imaging. Analytical Chemistry 89, 6893 (2017), DOI 10.1021/acs.analchem.7b01403.
SILVER: Marvin Gernhardt, Ling Peng, Matthias Burgard, Shaohua Jiang, Beate Förster, Holger Schmalz and Seema Agarwal: Tailoring the morphology of responsive bioinspired bicomponent fibers. Macromolecular Materials and Engineering 303, 1700248 (2017), DOI. 10.1002/mame.201700248.
BRONZE: Guanglin Yu, Yan Rou Yap, Kathryn Pollock and Allison Hubel: Characterization intracellular ice formation of lymphoblasts using low-temperature Raman spectroscopy. Biophysical Journal 112, 2653 (2017), DOI 10.1016/j.bpj.2017.05.009.
The WITec Paper Award is an annual contest sponsored by WITec and awarded to author(s) to recognize his or her outstanding peer-reviewed publication featuring results acquired with a WITec instrument. Scientists from all fields of application in both academia and industry are invited to submit their publications to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for submissions for the next Paper Award is January 31st, 2019.
Confocal Raman Microscopy, edited by members of the WITec team and part of the Springer Series in Surface Sciences, has been thoroughly revised and expanded for its 2nd Edition. The updated book is available now and features the latest developments in Raman techniques and instrumentation.
As with the 1st Edition, which has already established itself as the preeminent resource for the technique in labs and libraries around the world, the new edition provides a comprehensive overview of the fundamentals, practical considerations and real-world applications of Raman microscopy. Additionally, it has nearly doubled in number of chapters and now includes sub-sections on theory and technology, novel materials, geosciences, life and pharmaceutical sciences, materials science and a historical overview of the Raman effect. It also explores the rapidly evolving field of correlative microscopy by detailing how 3D Raman imaging can be integrated with other investigative methods to achieve a far greater understanding of a sample’s properties.
The 2nd Edition of Confocal Raman Microscopy, edited by WITec scientists Dr. Olaf Hollricher and Dr. Jan Toporski, can be purchased in print or e-book formats directly from Springer or through online shops. Order your copy today and have the current state of the art in Confocal Raman Microscopy at your fingertips.
WITec’s proven 3D Raman imaging functionality is now available in an inverted microscope.
WITec has launched the alpha300 Ri inverted Raman microscope. It combines the advantages of data acquisition from below with the established merits of 3D confocal Raman imaging, a powerful and versatile technique that can chemically characterize samples nondestructively and without labeling or other specialized preparation. The speed, sensitivity and resolution of the WITec alpha300 series are now available from a new angle. Research applications in the fields of life sciences, biomedicine and pharmaceutics will benefit in particular from the new setup.
The inverted beam geometry of the alpha300 Ri delivers many advantages in sample access and handling. Specimens in aqueous environments such as cell cultures can be examined more effectively. Standardized liquid sample holder formats can be quickly and easily mounted and measured. This accelerates the experimental workflow and helps ensure consistency. Investigations in materials science will be aided by the very large working area that can accommodate bulky samples and the set focal plane. The motorized sample stage also facilitates the mounting of environmental enclosures and other accessories.
Many modular components and upgrade possibilities developed for the WITec alpha300 series are compatible with the Ri version. Other microscopy techniques associated with inverted microscopes, such as fluorescence, differential interference contrast (DIC) and phase-contrast can also be easily integrated.
According to Olaf Hollricher, Director of Research and Development at WITec, “Researchers in life sciences are accustomed to working with inverted microscopes and their advantages for in vivo measurements, among others, are well-established. Developing a variant of our alpha300 confocal Raman imaging series with an inverted beam is a logical step in the evolution of our product line. Now the benefits of nondestructive, label-free molecular characterization are available from below the sample plane, backed up by all the modularity and upgradeability inherent in our systems.”
The WITec alpha300 Ri will be showcased at Analytica 2018 in Munich at the WITec booth A2/402. For more information, please visit the product webpage >>>.
WITec, manufacturer of 3D Raman imaging systems, is now offering TrueMatch, a powerful software component for accessing and creating Raman spectral databases. It can search existing libraries of Raman spectra to identify sample components and also allows users to create their own catalog of acquired spectra to assist in their research.
TrueMatch is available as a fully integrated option with the WITec Project FIVE software environment and databases can be brought directly into use in post-processing. Multi-spectral searches enable the user to identify several spectra simultaneously, and return hit rates that show the probability of a match for each individual spectrum. This greatly accelerates the process of characterization and is a perfect complement to WITec’s standard data analysis features. Demix search uses databases to describe acquired spectra in terms of pure substances, which can then be physically located in an image. Seeing the distribution of pure chemical components matched to sample features gives the researcher a precise visualization. Generated reports can be stored for further use in subsequent measurements, amplifying the effectiveness of the system as a whole and turning meaningful results into a valuable resource.
In addition to the proprietary WITec Raman database capability included with TrueMatch, compatible versions of ST Japan’s wide range of databases are available. Extensive libraries of Raman spectra can be referenced while new ones are created, all from within WITec’s fully-integrated software and hardware environment.
“TrueMatch makes it easier for the user to interpret their Raman images. It also greatly simplifies the process of searching through Raman spectral databases and creating new ones based on user-generated data compared to anything else out there. It’s the perfect complement to the standard analysis methods WITec implements in our Suite FIVE software environment,” says Olaf Hollricher, Managing Director and Director of Development at WITec, in summarizing the advantages of the new software.
Visit the TrueMatch product page for detailed information on the new software.