To ensure correlation between the
topograph and spectroscopy, this plat-
form acquires the confocal and atomic force microscopy signals at the same
time and from the same physical point—
at least as much as possible, given the
differences in scale. “This combination
is not sufficient to reach molecular resolution yet,” Liu says, “but it’s one step
closer to molecular spectral imaging.”
Basics for beginning
Part of the reason for developing get-
started kits for spectral imaging comes
from the wide range of applications.
The technique can be used to collect the
spectral image of a specific molecule
or cell, scan a person’s skin for cancer,
look for a particular reaction in a 96-
well plate, examine an entire animal or
plant, and more.
While Liu and Hicklin’s system re-
quires experts to put it together, run it,
and analyze the data, other options exist.
For example, Headwall’s Hyperspec
Starter Kit comes with an illumination
source, sensors, a mounting device to
place a sample under the illumination
and sensors, a stage, and software that
acquires and displays images (see Fig. 1).
The kit can be outfitted with sensors for
ultraviolet light or visible to near-infrared light. The system can be updated later to add another sensor.
“For a person with experience in spectroscopy or optics,” says Bannon, “we
FIGURE 1. Headwall Photonics’ hyperspectral imaging device (right) reveals spatial and
spectroscopic features of tissues, such as these cancerous kidney cells (left). (Image
courtesy of Headwall Photonics)