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  • 2023Michael_Greenop_PhD

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Analysis and monitoring of single HaCaT cells using volumetric Raman mapping and machine learning

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

  • Michael Greenop
Publication date6/01/2024
Number of pages249
Awarding Institution
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


No explorer reached a pole without a map, no chef served a meal without tasting, and no surgeon implants untested devices. Higher accuracy maps, more sensitive taste buds, and more rigorous tests increase confidence in positive outcomes. Biomedical manufacturing necessitates rigour, whether developing drugs or creating bioengineered tissues [1]–[4]. By designing a dynamic environment that supports mammalian cells during experiments within a Raman spectroscope, this project provides a platform that more closely replicates in vivo conditions. The platform also adds the opportunity to automate the adaptation of the cell culture environment, alongside spectral monitoring of cells with machine learning and three-dimensional Raman mapping, called volumetric Raman mapping (VRM). Previous research highlighted key areas for refinement, like a structured approach for shading Raman maps [5], [6], and the collection of VRM [7]. Refining VRM shading and collection was the initial focus, k-means directed shading for vibrational spectroscopy map shading was developed in Chapter 3 and exploration of depth distortion and VRM calibration (Chapter 4). “Cage” scaffolds, designed using the findings from Chapter 4 were then utilised to influence cell behaviour by varying the number of cage beams
to change the scaffold porosity. Altering the porosity facilitated spectroscopy
investigation into previously observed changes in cell biology alteration in response to porous scaffolds [8]. VRM visualised changed single human keratinocyte (HaCaT) cell morphology, providing a complementary technique for machine learning classification. Increased technical rigour justified progression onto in-situ flow chamber for Raman spectroscopy development in Chapter 6, using a Psoriasis (dithranol-HaCaT) model on unfixed cells. K-means-directed shading and principal component analysis (PCA) revealed HaCaT cell adaptations aligning with previous publications [5] and earlier thesis sections. The k-means-directed Raman maps and PCA score plots verified the drug-supplying capacity of the flow chamber, justifying future investigation into VRM and machine learning for monitoring single cells within the flow chamber.