Raman microspectroscopy of melanosomes: the effect of long term light irradiation



Melanosomes are long lived organelles in retinal pigment epithelium cells and are primarily responsible for photoprotection. However, with aging or prolong light radiation, the function of melanosomes diminishes, which may be due to photobleaching of melanin pigments present in melanosomes. In this study, melanosomes were isolated from the retinal pigment epithelium cells and exposed to green light (532 nm), and the chemical changes were monitored using Raman microspectroscopy. Photochemical changes were recorded for different power levels and exposure times. The threshold power and the rate for irreversible photobleaching of melanosomes were calculated by fitting the experimental data with a proposed model. (© 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)