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Zebrafish embryos provide a unique opportunity to visualize complex biological processes, yet conventional imaging modalities are unable to access intricate biomolecular information without compromising the integrity of the embryos. Here, we report the use of confocal Raman spectroscopic imaging for the visualization and multivariate analysis of biomolecular information extracted from unlabeled zebrafish embryos. We outline broad applications of this method in: (i) visualizing the biomolecular distribution of whole embryos in three dimensions, (ii) resolving anatomical features at subcellular spatial resolution, (iii) biomolecular profiling and discrimination of wild type and ΔRD1 mutant Mycobacterium marinum strains in a zebrafish embryo model of tuberculosis and (iv) in vivo temporal monitoring of the wound response in living zebrafish embryos. Overall, this study demonstrates the application of confocal Raman spectroscopic imaging for the comparative bimolecular analysis of fully intact and living zebrafish embryos.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Commun

Publication Date





Animals, Animals, Genetically Modified, Embryo, Nonmammalian, Molecular Imaging, Multivariate Analysis, Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous, Mycobacterium marinum, Spectrum Analysis, Raman, Time-Lapse Imaging, Wound Healing, Zebrafish