Raman Microspectroscopy and Machine Learning: A Perspective for Tissue Remodelling Characterization



Tissue Remodelling, Raman Spectroscopy, Second Harmon-ic Generation, Machine Learning.


Using novel technologies of the multimodal RM-SHG imaging system and machine learning (ML), we explore tissue remodelling. With ML, the imaged biochemical spatial maps of the tissues are characterized, and the main biomarkers associated with remodelling are identified.

Author Biographies

Natasha Kunchur, Carleton University

Natasha Kunchur is a PhD Student in Biomedical Engineering with a specialization in Data Science under the Department of Systems and Computer Engineering at Carleton University. She obtained her Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Ottawa in 2020. Working closely with Dr. Mostaço-Guidolin, Natasha’s research explores the applications of Machine Learning in the field of Raman spectroscopy, analyzing various methods which could be used to accurately classify tissue components and Raman spectra in an automated fashion. Alongside Machine Learning, Natasha also dips into the field of image processing, exploring various techniques which could be used to best enhance and analyze images obtained from various biomedical imaging instrumentations.

Dr. Louise-Hackett, University of British Columbia/Anesthesiology Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Centre for Heart Lung Innovation, Vancouver, Canada

Dr. Tillie-Louise Hackett, PhD, ATSF, is a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Asthma and COPD Lung Pathobiology & Therapeutics, and Professor and Vice-Chair of Research in the Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics at the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Hackett is an internationally recognized leader in ultra-resolution biomedical imaging modalities and human in vitro models to investigate and treat the pathobiology of asthma and COPD, which daily affects the ability of over 4.5 million Canadians to breathe. Dr. Hackett’s research has been formally recognized by over 35 awards, including the Parker B. Francis Fellowship (2012), Canadian Institutes of Health Research New Investigator Award (2014), and the UBC Faculty of Medicine Distinguished Researcher Award (2018). In 2018, she was named an Inaugural American Thoracic Society Fellow (100 awarded), a mark of distinction and recognition for accomplishments and dedication to the society and field of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. Dr. Hackett has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and ranks in the top 0.2% of 157,339 published authors worldwide on obstructive lung diseases (Expertscape.com).

Since 2014, Dr. Hackett has served as the Director of the HLI James C. Hogg Lung Tissue Biobank. Established in 1977, it is one of the largest biobanks in the world, enabling researchers from academia, health authorities, and industry to access comprehensively phenotyped lung samples from over 3,000 patients. Between 2013 – 2018, Dr. Hackett served as the Associate Director of the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation.

Dr. Hackett has served as the primary supervisor for 3 MSc and 8 PhD students, 5 postdoctoral fellows, 4 co-op students, 9 summer students, 3 clinical fellows, and 4 BSc Honours students who have collectively won over 65 fellowships, travel awards, and best presentation awards. Since 2017, she has been recognized annually for Excellence in Student Teaching by the Dean of the Faculty of Sciences.

Dr. Mostaço-Guidolin, Carleton University

I earned a bachelor’s degree in Medical Physics at the Universidade de São Paulo. The Universidade de São Paulo is one of the most prestigious universities in the world, and there, I had the opportunity to gain invaluable academic and research experiences in both physics and biology. That time further reinforced what I already knew: I seek knowledge from diverse areas and I am instinctively drawn to build bridges across disciplines.

During my years as a master student, I had the opportunity to learn and to work with a variety of optical techniques. For example, during my early years as a graduate student, I have gained extensive experience working with UV-Visible spectroscopy, exploring the suitability of novel chemical compounds for photodynamic therapy (PDT). Later on, during my master studies, I worked in close collaboration with researchers at the Pharmacy Department, applying infrared and fluorescence spectroscopy to characterize how neoplastic cells respond to different treatments.

During the course of my Ph.D. studies, I had the opportunity to work with a state-of-the-art nonlinear optical microscope at the National Research Council in Winnipeg (Canada), developing innovative image analysis tools and assessing characteristic changes that occur within arteries during atherosclerotic plaque development.

Within my Ph.D. work, I started applying texture analysis to extract features from optical images. By extracting statistical parameters from images, I have successfully extracted biochemical features characterizing atherosclerotic plaques within vessels. The tools I applied and developed – for example to calculate the entropy of an image, which can be correlated to how disorganized certain features are – led us to a sound methodology able to accurately classify images based on morphological features of collagen, elastin and lipid-rich structures in arterial vessels.

After completing my Ph.D., which was focused primarily on characterizing cardiovascular diseases, I decided I wanted the opportunity to work in a more biomedical-oriented environment and consequently, address new biological questions.

As a postdoctoral fellow, my focus was on developing methods to reveal and track changes associated with collagen and elastin deposition in respiratory diseases. Structural changes within airways of asthmatic patients – termed airway remodelling – remain unresponsive to existing asthma medications. We know that in asthmatics the airway epithelium is fragile and displays signs of damage; however, we know very little about normal mechanisms of epithelial repair and morphological changes that occur during asthma progression.

At Carleton, my new research platform combines the use of optical microscopy and image analysis with 3D-bioprinting, aiming to address questions related to cellular communication and extracellular matrix repair in abnormal mechano-environments.




How to Cite

N. Kunchur, T. . Louise-Hackett, and L. Mostaço-Guidolin, “Raman Microspectroscopy and Machine Learning: A Perspective for Tissue Remodelling Characterization”, CMBES Proc., vol. 46, Jun. 2024.