Optical microscopy has been the workhorse pathological technique, qualitatively differentiating tissue sections by characterizing morphological variations. Vibrational spectroscopic techniques provide quantitative as well as qualitative analytical information that reflects a sample’s biochemical composition and molecular structure. The utility of infrared and Raman techniques for biological characterization has been demonstrated for a variety of applications.[1-4]
FTIR imaging microscopy is a newly developed technique that incorporates the imaging capabilities required for histological procedures with the chemical discrimination of IR spectroscopy.[5-7] The ability to maintain spatial integrity while accessing precise spectroscopic data intrinsic to the sample represents a powerful combination. This technique is much more amenable to analysis by a pathologist than conventional spectroscopy because the data can be presented as images. These images provide direct visualization of a sample’s biochemical heterogeneity.
Vibrational spectroscopic imaging techniques provide excellent sample statistics for the accurate classification of individual spectral signatures because tens of thousands of independent spectra from different spatial locations within the sample are simultaneously recorded.