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Environmental air pollution poses a significant health risk to individuals across the world. Diesel exhaust particles (DEPs), a major component of air pollution, have been shown to cause lung damage leading to cancer, respiratory infections, and premature death. Antioxidants, such as resveratrol, have previously demonstrated protective properties against DEP-induced cytotoxicity and reactive oxygen species. Cannabinoids extracted from hemp species have also been found to have powerful antioxidant properties, though these properties have not been thoroughly explored. In this study, A549 human lung carcinoma cells were used as a cellular model to determine the effectiveness of cannabinoids’ antioxidant properties against DEP-induced oxidative stress and cytotoxicity. Traditional measures of cell viability and oxidative stress including flow cytometry assays were used along with non-traditional Raman spectroscopy measurements. Raman spectroscopy is a non-invasive means of analyzing individual molecular changes in cellular components, such as DNA, lipids, proteins, and carbohydrates, without damaging the original cell samples. As the Raman spectral emission data is label-free, various forms of machine learning analyses were used to explore potential relationships between the antioxidants, DEP concentrations, and the resulting molecular compounds within the cell. The Raman spectral data was then compared to the traditional flow cytometry data to determine if Raman spectroscopy can be effectively used to determine the health of individual lung cells.

Publication Date



Logan, UT


air pollution, antioxidants, cannabinoids, diesel exhaust particulate


Biological Engineering

Effectiveness of Cannabidiol and Resveratrol Against Diesel Exhaust Particle-Induced Lung Cell Cytotoxicity