Evaluation of toxic agent effects on lung cells by fiber evanescent wave spectroscopy

Pierre Lucas, David Le Coq, Christophe Juncker, Jayne Collier, Dianne E. Boesewetter, Catherine Boussard-Pledel, Bruno Bureau, Mark R. Riley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Biochemical changes in living cells are detected using a fiber probe system composed of a single chalcogenide fiber acting as both the sensor and transmission line for Infrared optical signals. The signal is collected via evanescent wave absorption along the tapered sensing zone of the fiber. We spectroscopically monitored the effects of the surfactant Triton X-100, which serves as a toxic agent simulant on a transformed human lung carcinoma type II epithelial cell line (A549). We observe spectral changes between 2800-3000 cm -1 in four absorptions bands, which are assigned to hydrocarbon vibrations of methylene and methyl groups in membrane lipids. Comparison of Ober and transmission spectra shows that the present technique allows one to locally probe the cell plasma membrane in the lipid spectral region. These optical responses are correlated with cellular metabolic activity measurements and LDH (lactate dehydrogenase) release assays that indicate a loss of cellular function and membrane integrity as would be expected in response to the membrane sohibilizing Triton. The spectroscopic technique shows a significantly greater detection resolution in time and concentration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Spectroscopy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005


  • Cell culture
  • Chalcogenide glass fiber
  • FT-IR spectroscopy
  • Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy
  • Human lung cells
  • Toxicity monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Spectroscopy


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