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Wei Min

Wei Min

Tue, Mar. 10, 2015, 4:30pm - 6:00pm
Frick Chemistry Laboratory, Taylor Auditorium

Seeing molecular vibrations: chemical imaging for biomedicine

Innovations in spectroscopy principles and microscopy technology have significantly impacted modern biology and medicine. While most of the contemporary bio-imaging modalities harness electronic transition (fluorescence), nuclear spin (magnetic resonance imaging) or radioactivity (positron emission tomography), vibrational spectroscopy has not been widely used yet. Here we will discuss an emerging chemical imaging platform, stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) microscopy, which can enhance the otherwise feeble spontaneous Raman eight orders of magnitude by virtue of stimulated emission. When coupled with stable isotopes (e.g., deuterium and 13C) or bioorthogonal chemical moieties (e.g., alkynes), SRS microscopy is well suited for probing in vivo metabolic dynamics of small bio-molecules which cannot be labeled by bulky fluorophores. Physical principle of the underlying optical spectroscopy and exciting biomedical applications such as imaging lipid metabolism, protein synthesis, DNA replication, protein degradation, RNA synthesis, glucose uptake, drug trafficking and tumor metabolism will be presented.


L. Wei, Y. Yu, Y. Shen, W. C. Wang and W. Min. “Vibrational imaging of newly synthesized proteins in live cells by stimulated Raman scattering microscopy”, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 110, 11226 (2013). 

F. Hu, L. Wei, Y. Shen and W. Min. “Live-cell imaging of choline metabolites through stimulated Raman scattering coupled with isotope-based metabolic labeling”, Analyst, 139, 2312 (2014).


Y. Shen, F. Xu, L. Wei, F. Hu and W. Min. “Live-cell quantitative imaging of proteome degradation by stimulated Raman scattering”, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 53, 5596 (2014).


L. Wei, F. Hu, Y. Shen, Z. Chen, Y. Yu, C. Lin, M. Wang and W. Min. “Live-cell imaging with alkyne-tagged small biomolecules by stimulated Raman Scattering”, Nature Methods, 11, 410 (2014).

Z. Chen, D. Paley, L. Wei, A. Weisman, R. Friesner, C. Nuckolls and W. Min. “Multicolor live-cell chemical imaging by isotopically edited alkyne vibrational palette”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 136, 8027 (2014).

L. Wei, Y. Shen, F. Xu, F. Hu, J. Harrington, K. Targoff and W. Min. “Imaging complex protein metabolism in live organisms by stimulated Raman scattering microscopy with isotope labeling”. ACS Chem. Biol. DOI: 10.1021/cb500787b (2015).