Identification of regions of normal grey matter and white matter from pathologic glioblastoma and necrosis in frozen sections using Raman imaging

Rachel Kast, Gregory Auner, Sally Yurgelevic, Brandy Broadbent, Aditya Raghunathan, Laila M. Poisson, Tom Mikkelsen, Mark L. Rosenblum, Steven N. Kalkanis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


In neurosurgical applications, a tool capable of distinguishing grey matter, white matter, and areas of tumor and/or necrosis in near-real time could greatly aid in tumor resection decision making. Raman spectroscopy is a non-destructive spectroscopic technique which provides molecular information about the tissue under examination based on the vibrational properties of the constituent molecules. With careful measurement and data processing, a spatial step and repeat acquisition of Raman spectra can be used to create Raman images. Forty frozen brain tissue sections were imaged in their entirety using a 300-µm-square measurement grid, and two or more regions of interest within each tissue were also imaged using a 25 µm-square step size. Molecular correlates for histologic features of interest were identified within the Raman spectra, and novel imaging algorithms were developed to compare molecular features across multiple tissues. In previous work, the relative concentration of individual biomolecules was imaged. Here, the relative concentrations of 1004, 1300:1344, and 1660 cm−1, which correspond primarily to protein and lipid content, were simultaneously imaged across all tissues. This provided simple interpretation of boundaries between grey matter, white matter, and diseased tissue, and corresponded with findings from adjacent hematoxylin and eosin-stained sections. This novel, yet simple, multi-channel imaging technique allows clinically-relevant resolution with straightforward molecular interpretation of Raman images not possible by imaging any single peak. This method can be applied to either surgical or laboratory tools for rapid, non-destructive imaging of grey and white matter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-295
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of neuro-oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015


  • Grey matter
  • Raman imaging
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • White matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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