Toward a spectroscopic hemogram: Raman spectroscopic differentiation of the two most abundant leukocytes from peripheral blood

Anal Chem. 2012 Jun 19;84(12):5335-42. doi: 10.1021/ac3007363. Epub 2012 Jun 8.


The first response to infection in the blood is mediated by leukocytes. As a result crucial information can be gained from a hemogram. Conventional methods such as blood smears and automated sorting procedures are not capable of recording detailed biochemical information of the different leukocytes. In this study, Raman spectroscopy has been applied to investigate the differences between the leukocyte subtypes which have been obtained from healthy donors. Raman imaging was able to visualize the same morphological features as standard staining methods without the need of any label. Unsupervised statistical methods such as principal component analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis were able to separate Raman spectra of the two most abundant leukocytes, the neutrophils and lymphocytes (with a special focus on CD4(+) T-lymphocytes). For the same cells a classification model was built to allow an automated Raman-based differentiation of the cell type in the future. The classification model could achieve an accuracy of 94% in the validation step and could predict the identity of unknown cells from a completely different donor with an accuracy of 81% when using single spectra and with an accuracy of 97% when using the majority vote from all individual spectra of the cell. This marks a promising step toward automated Raman spectroscopic blood analysis which holds the potential not only to assign the numbers of the cells but also to yield important biochemical information.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Separation / methods*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / cytology*
  • Neutrophils / cytology*
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Spectrum Analysis, Raman*