Probing single-tumor cell interactions with different-age type I collagen networks by synchrotron-based Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy

J Biomed Opt. 2014;19(11):111612. doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.19.11.111612.


We report here on a first study using synchrotron radiation-based Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy and imaging to investigate HT1080 human fibrosarcoma cells grown onto different-aged type I collagen networks. Spectral images were analyzed with k-means and fuzzy C-means (FCM) clustering algorithms. K-means delineated tumor cells from their surrounding collagen networks and the latter as a function of age mainly due to specific changes in the sugar absorption region. The FCM analysis gave a better nuance of the spectral images. A progression of the biochemical information was observed upon going from the cellular compartments to the pericellular contact regions and to the intact collagens of the different age groups. Two spectral markers based on sugar and protein bands via the intensity ratio (I1032/I1655) and band area ratio (Asugar/Aamide II), showed an increase in advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) with age. A clear-separation of the three age groups was obtained for spectra originating from the peripheral contact areas mainly due to changes in protein band intensities. The above-described markers decreased to constant levels for the three conditions indicating a masking of the biochemical information. These results hold promises to better understand the impact of age on tumor progression processes while highlighting new markers of the tumor cell invasion front.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / chemistry
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Collagen Type I / chemistry
  • Collagen Type I / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Single-Cell Analysis / methods*
  • Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared / methods*
  • Synchrotrons


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Collagen Type I