Fourier transform infrared micro-spectroscopy (mu-FT-IR) is nowadays considered a valuable tool for investigating the changes occurring in human cells after exposure to ionizing radiation. Recently, considerable attention has been devoted to the use of this optical technique in the study of cells exposed to proton beams, that are being increasingly adopted in cancer therapy. Different experimental configurations are used for proton irradiation and subsequent spectra acquisition. To facilitate the use of mu-FT-IR, it may be useful to investigate new experimental approaches capable of speeding up and simplifying the irradiation and measurements phases. Here, we propose the use of low-e-substrates slides for cell culture, allowing the irradiation and spectra acquisition in transflection mode in a fast and direct way. In recent years, there has been a wide debate about the validity of these supports, but many researchers agree that the artifacts due to the presence of the electromagnetic standing wave effects are negligible in many practical cases. We investigated human normal breast cells (MCF-10 cell line) fixed immediately after the irradiation with graded proton radiation doses (0, 0.5, 2, and 4 Gy). The spectra obtained in transflection geometry showed characteristics very similar to those present in the spectra acquired in transmission geometry and confirm the validity of the chosen approach. The analysis of spectra indicates the occurrence of significant changes in DNA and lipids components of cells. Modifications in protein secondary structure are also evidenced.
- fourier transform infrared micro-spectroscopy
- transflection geometry
- proton therapy
- radiation dose effects
- human breast cells