The vast majority of cancer related deaths are caused by metastatic tumors. Therefore, identifying the metastatic potential of cancer cells is of great importance both for prognosis and for determining the correct treatment. Infrared (IR) spectroscopy of biological cells is an evolving research area, whose main aim is to find the spectral differences between diseased and healthy cells. In the present study, we demonstrate that Attenuated Total Reflection Fourier Transform IR (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy may be used to determine the metastatic potential of cancer cells. Using the ATR-FTIR spectroscopy, we can identify spectral alterations that are a result of hydration or molecular changes. We examined two murine melanoma cells with a common genetic background but a different metastatic level, and similarly, two human melanoma cells. Our findings revealed that higher metastatic potential correlates with membrane hydration level. Measuring the spectral properties of the cells allows us to determine the membrane hydration levels. Thus, ATR-FTIR spectroscopy has the potential to help in cancer metastasis prognosis.
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