Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) micro-spectroscopy has been attracting the interest of many cytologists and histopathologists for several years. This is related to the possibility of FTIR translation in the clinical diagnostic field. In fact, FTIR spectra are able to detect changes in biochemical cellular components occurring when the cells pass to a pathological state. Recently, this interest has increased because it has been shown that FTIR spectra carried out just in the high wavenumber spectral range (2500–4000 cm−1
), where information mainly relating to lipids and proteins can be obtained, are able to discriminate cell lines related to different tissues. This possibility allows to perform IR absorption measurements of cellular samples deposited onto microscopy glass slides (widely used in the medical environment) which are transparent to IR radiation only for wavenumber values larger than 2000 cm−1
. For these reasons, we show that FTIR spectra in the 2800–3000 cm−1
spectral range can discriminate three different cell lines from breast tissue: a non-malignant cell line (MCF10A), a non-metastatic adenocarcinoma cell line (MCF7) and a metastatic adenocarcinoma cell line (MDA). All the cells were grown onto glass slides. The spectra were discriminated by means of a principal component analysis, according to the PC1 component, whose values have the opposite sign in the pairwise score plots. This result supports the wide studies that are being carried out to promote the translation of the FTIR technique in medical practice, as a complementary diagnostic tool.
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