A single-cell diagnostic technique for epithelial cancers is developed by utilizing laser trapping and Raman spectroscopy to differentiate cancerous and normal epithelial cells. Single-cell suspensions were prepared from surgically removed human colorectal tissues following standard primary culture protocols and examined in a near-infrared laser-trapping Raman spectroscopy system, where living epithelial cells were investigated one by one. A diagnostic model was built on the spectral data obtained from 8 patients and validated by the data from 2 new patients. Our technique has potential applications from epithelial cancer diagnosis to the study of cell dynamics of carcinogenesis.
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