Differentiating quiescent cancer cell populations in heterogeneous samples with fluorescence lifetime imaging

Tiffany M. Heaster, Alex J. Walsh, Melissa C. Skala

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Measurement of relative fluorescence intensities of NAD(P)H and FAD with fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) allows metabolic characterization of cancerous populations and correlation to treatment response. However, quiescent populations of cancer cells introduce heterogeneity to the tumor and exhibit resistance to standard therapies, requiring a better understanding of this influence on treatment outcome. Significant differences were observed between proliferating and quiescent cell populations upon comparison of respective redox ratios (p<0.05) and FAD lifetimes (p<0.05) across monolayers and in mixed samples. These results demonstrate that metabolic activity may function as a marker for separation and characterization of proliferating and quiescent cancer cells within mixed samples, contributing to comprehensive investigation of heterogeneity-dependent drug resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiophysics, Biology, and Biophotonics
Subtitle of host publicationThe Crossroads
EditorsAdam Wax, Vadim Backman
ISBN (Electronic)9781628419535
StatePublished - 2016
EventBiophysics, Biology, and Biophotonics: The Crossroads - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Feb 13 2016Feb 14 2016

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceBiophysics, Biology, and Biophotonics: The Crossroads
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • cancer
  • cellular heterogeneity
  • fluorescence lifetime
  • metabolic imaging
  • quiescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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