Current methods for the evaluation of cell interactions with particles are nonspecific, slow, and invasive to the cells. Raman spectroscopy is a noninvasive technique, and is used in the present study to investigate particle–cell interactions. The main focus of the present study is to employ Raman spectroscopy for investigating the interaction of human lung adenocarcinoma cell line (A549) with the particulate system Jasada Bhasma, a traditional Indian medicine. Jasada Bhasma is a unique preparation of zinc and is traditionally used for the treatment of various diseases like diabetes, age-related eye diseases, and as a health promotional tonic. The Raman spectral analysis is executed by identifying the difference in intracellular DNA/RNA, and proteins and lipids concentration between particles—treated and untreated cells. Comparison between Bhasma-treated and -untreated cells indicates that vibrational peaks corresponding to the DNA/RNA molecule show a significant increase in cells treated with the Jasada Bhasma. Apart from the DNA molecule, several other vibrational peaks related to the protein molecules also show a significant increase in A549 cells after treatment with Bhasma. These results indicate that Bhasma treatment of A549 possibly delays DNA degradation and enables retention of higher amount of protein molecules in the cells. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Biopolymers 89: 555–564, 2008.
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