In vivo biomolecular imaging of zebrafish embryos using confocal Raman spectroscopy

Nat Commun. 2020 Dec 2;11(1):6172. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-19827-1.


Zebrafish embryos provide a unique opportunity to visualize complex biological processes, yet conventional imaging modalities are unable to access intricate biomolecular information without compromising the integrity of the embryos. Here, we report the use of confocal Raman spectroscopic imaging for the visualization and multivariate analysis of biomolecular information extracted from unlabeled zebrafish embryos. We outline broad applications of this method in: (i) visualizing the biomolecular distribution of whole embryos in three dimensions, (ii) resolving anatomical features at subcellular spatial resolution, (iii) biomolecular profiling and discrimination of wild type and ΔRD1 mutant Mycobacterium marinum strains in a zebrafish embryo model of tuberculosis and (iv) in vivo temporal monitoring of the wound response in living zebrafish embryos. Overall, this study demonstrates the application of confocal Raman spectroscopic imaging for the comparative bimolecular analysis of fully intact and living zebrafish embryos.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / metabolism
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / ultrastructure*
  • Molecular Imaging / instrumentation
  • Molecular Imaging / methods*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous / microbiology
  • Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous / pathology
  • Mycobacterium marinum / growth & development
  • Mycobacterium marinum / pathogenicity
  • Spectrum Analysis, Raman / instrumentation
  • Spectrum Analysis, Raman / methods*
  • Time-Lapse Imaging / instrumentation
  • Time-Lapse Imaging / methods*
  • Wound Healing / physiology
  • Zebrafish / anatomy & histology*
  • Zebrafish / growth & development
  • Zebrafish / metabolism

Supplementary concepts

  • Infection with Mycobacterium marinum