Interdisciplinary Life Science - PULSe Great research is a matter of choice

Ji-Xin Cheng

Ji-Xin Cheng Profile Picture

Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Chemistry,Scientific Director of Label-free Imaging - Purdue Discovery Park
Ph. D., 1998, University of Science and Technology of China

Contact Info:

Training Group(s):
Membrane Biology
Biomolecular Structure and Biophysics

Current Research Interests:

When a cell receives a signal from the environment or another cell, the internal machinery of the receiving cell is activated. However, we do not know exactly what happens then among all the elements (e.g. membrane reorganization, metabolic conversion) in the recipient cell. A detailed understanding of these events as they occur in live cells would pave the way for developing marker-based diagnosis strategies and designing disease-specific drugs. So far, most of our knowledge about cellular content comes from in vitro analysis of fixed cells or homogenates. For study in live cells, fluorescence microscopy is the tool of choice by monitoring labeled molecules in real time. However, the labels may muddy the physiology of small biomolecules such as cholesterol or the function of a biological structure such as the plasma membrane. Also, labeling can only be used to examine the behavior of a known molecular species. Label-free imaging using intrinsic signals offers an alternative to overcome these limitations. Among various label-free imaging modalities, Raman-scattering based vibrational imaging is most informative because each molecule has its fingerprint vibrational modes. Moreover, the Raman scattering signal allows functional analysis because the Raman spectrum is sensitive to molecular conformation changes in response to a certain stimulus. Though Raman scattering is a feeble effect, recently developed coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering and stimulated Raman scattering microscopes allowed high-speed vibrational imaging of cells and tissues, albeit largely based on single-frequency excitation of isolated Raman bands from known molecules. My laboratory is developing stimulated Raman spectral imaging platforms at a pixel dwell time on the order of 10 microseconds to capture fast cellular dynamics. Exploiting the large amount of information contained in a Raman spectrum acquired at each pixel, real-time vibrational spectroscopic imaging with submicron spatial resolution offers an unparalleled opportunity to resolve the composition of an organelle and/or monitor the function of a subcellular compartment in vivo.

Selected Publications:

Shuhua Yue, Junjie Li, Seung-Young Lee, Hyeon Jeong Lee, Tian Shao, Bing Song, Liang Cheng, Timothy A. Masterson, Xiaoqi Liu, Timothy L. Ratliff, Ji-Xin Cheng*, Cholesteryl ester accumulation induced by PTEN loss and PI3K/AKT activation underlies human prostate cancer aggressiveness. Cell Metabolism, 2014 March, 18: 393-406.

Pu Wang, Teng Ma, Mikhail N. Slipchenko, Shanshan Liang, Jie Hui, K. Kirk Shung, Sukesh Roy, Michael Sturek, Qifa Zhou*, Zhongping Chen* & Ji-Xin Cheng*, High-speed Intravascular Photoacoustic Imaging of Lipid-laden Atherosclerotic Plaque Enabled by a 2-kHz Barium Nitrite Raman Laser, Scientific Reports, 2014, 4: 6889.

Ping Wang, Bin Liu, Delong Zhang, Micah Y. Belew, Heidi A. Tissenbaum *, Ji-Xin Cheng*, Imaging lipid metabolism in live Caenorhabditis elegans using fingerprint vibrations, Angewandte Chemie Int Ed, 2014 October, 53: 11782-92.

 Delong Zhang, Ping Wang, Mikhail N. Slipchenko, Ji-Xin Cheng*, Fast vibrational imaging of cells and tissues by stimulated Raman scattering microscopy, Accounts of Chemical Research, May 2014, 47, 2282-2290.

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