We report on the development and characterization of a multifocal laser tweezers Raman spectroscopy (M-LTRS) technique for parallel Raman spectral acquisition of individual biological cells. Using a 785-nm diode laser and a time-sharing laser trapping scheme, multiple laser foci are generated to optically trap single polystyrene beads and suspension cells in a linear pattern. Raman signals from the trapped objects are simultaneously projected through the slit of a spectrometer and spatially resolved on a charge-coupled device (CCD) detector with minimal signal crosstalk between neighboring cells. By improving the rate of single-cell analysis, M-LTRS is expected to be a valuable method for studying single-cell dynamics of cell populations and for the development of high-throughput Raman based cytometers.

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