Spectral unmixing for label-free, in-liquid characterization of biomass microstructure and biopolymer content by coherent Raman imaging

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Abstract

Characterization of lignocellulosic biomass microstructure with chemical specificity and under physiological conditions could provide invaluable insights to our understanding of plant tissue development, microstructure, origins of recalcitrance, degradation, and solubilization. However, most methods currently available are either destructive, are not compatible with hosting a physiological environment, or introduces exogenous probes, complicating their use for studying changes in microstructure and mechanisms of plant development, recalcitrance, or degradation in situ. To address these challenges, we here present a multi-modal chemically specific imaging technique based on coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microspectroscopy with simplex maximization and entropy-based spectral unmixing enabling label-free, chemically specific characterization of plant microstructure in liquid. We describe how spatial drift of samples suspended in liquid can introduce artifacts in spectral unmixing procedures for single-frequency CARS and propose a mitigative strategy toward these effects using simultaneously acquired forward-scattered CARS signals and epi-detected autofluorescence. We further apply the technique for chemical and microstructural characterization of untreated and liquid hot water pretreated rapeseed straw by CARS and show how the framework can be extended for 3D imaging with chemical specificity. Finally, we provide examples of the intricate chemical and microstructural details recovered by this hybrid imaging technique, including discerning between primary and secondary cell walls, localization of aqueous components to cell lumina, and the presence of funnel-type pits in samples ofBrassica napus.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Volume95
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)2168–2175
ISSN0003-2700
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31. Jan 2023

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