The current project is devoted to: a) designing and developing integrated photonic chips to achieve advanced functionalities such as a highly spatially resolved 3D (threedimensional) chemical imaging of cells, and b) equipping a state-of-the art Raman microscope with such chips. Photonic chips will be developed to provide a unique engineering of the optical signals, whereas a commercial Raman microscope will allow us to retrieve local cellular chemical signatures carried by molecular vibrations. The combination of integrated photonic chips with a Raman microscope will also enable to image with high spatial resolution both the cellular structural information that are coded in the optical index of the different compartments and the Raman scattering signal. As a result, it will be possible to clearly allocate a specific chemical signature with a given sub-compartment of a cell. In particular, our advanced microscopy tool will enable with an unprecedented accuracy the study and quantification of the processes that are involved in drug delivery into cell.
We envision that integrated photonics structures will enable original advanced Raman microscopy imaging, which should lead to high-impact applications in the fields of pharmaceutical and biotechnological sciences. In the present context, the assets of the photonic chip are its capabilities: 1) to generate a robust omnidirectional illumination of the sample 2) to implement advanced signal managements, for instance to control the relative phase of different guided beams, 3) to provide a low cost solution, free of mechanical alignments, and as such easily tractable by biologists. Note that the current proposal is even compatible with an endoscopy approach.