Raman microscope seed funds (past and upcoming)

The following proposals were selected for (partial) funding in the April 2019 competition for seed funds provided by the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. We congratulate the proposers and wish them success in their respective projects.

- Huyen Bui, Algae community interactions by Raman and cell identification
- Markus Dieser, Detecting microbial activity in ice using Raman microscopy
- Viola Krukenberg, Connecting microbial function to taxonomy in deep-sea sediments from Guaymas Basin via Raman-activated cell sorting
- Isaac Miller, Raman microscopy and cell sorting of microalgae
- George Schaible and Anthony Kohtz, Improved Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) of active microorganisms through bioorthogonal click chemistry attachment of gold nanoparticles
- Dana Skorupa, Identification of active thermoalkaliphilic organisms capable of degrading industrially-relevant materials

We anticipate a second competition for Raman seed funds in the winter of 2019 or spring of 2020.

Instrument Details


The new instrument is a heavily modified Horiba Scientific LabRAM Evolution Confocal Raman microscope system, equipped with high-powered 532 nm (450 mW) and 785 nm (100 mW) lasers; a deep-cooled back-illuminated EMCCD multi-channel detector and 300, 600, and 1800 gr/mm grating. Optional ultra-low frequency filters are also available. The instrument is capable of tracking the uptake of isotope-labeled substrates (e.g. 13C, 15N, or 2H) into individual microbial or eukaryotic cells. An epifluorescence module as well as filters for DAPI, Fluorescein/FAM/FITC/GFP, Cy3/TAMRA, and Texas-Red are available. The scope is equipped with an automated xyz-stage with mapping (and fast-mapping, SWIFT) capabilities. The stage is capable of a lateral step size of 50 nm and a vertical step size of 10 nm. The system is equipped with 10x, 50x, and 100x oil objectives, a 63x water immersion objective (NA 1.2, WD 0.28mm), and a 63x long-working distance water immersion objective (NA 1, WD 2mm) suitable for biofilm work. The system is also equipped with a 2 W 1,064 nm optical tweezer (CaptuR technology) that allows individual cells to be separated from complex samples. The computer workstation is equipped with the LabSpec6 software with an integrated multivariate analysis module, a particle finder module, and a subscription to Bio-Rad’s KnowItAll Software with Raman spectra library.

For additional questions on the instrument and its capabilities, please email ramanseedgrant@gmail.com with the subject “Question on Raman capabilities”.

Additional links on the LabRam Evolution

Reviews on the use of Confocal Raman micro-spectroscopy in microbiology