In this chapter, we discuss Raman scattering and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) for the analysis of cellular samples of plant and animal origin which are several tens to hundreds of microns in size. As was shown in the past several years, the favorable properties of noble metal nanostructures can be used to generate SERS signals in very complex biological samples such as cells, and result in an improved sensitivity and spatial resolution. Pollen grains, the physiological containers that produce the male gametes of seed plants, consist of a few vegetative cells and one generative cell, surrounded by a biopolymer shell. Their chemical composition has been a subject of research of plant physiologists, biochemists [1, 2], and lately even materials scientists [3, 4] for various reasons. In spite of a multitude of applied analytical approaches it could not be elucidated in its entirety yet. Animal cells from cell cultures have been a subject of intense studies due to their application in virtually all fields of biomedical research, ranging from studies of basic biological mechanisms to models for pharmaceutical and diagnostic research. Many aspects of all kinds of cellular processes including signalling, transport, and gene regulation have been elucidated, but many more facts about cell biology will need to be understood in order to efficiently address issues such as cancer, viral infection or genetic disorder. Using the information from spectroscopic methods, in particular combining normal Raman spectroscopy and SERS may open up new perspectives on cellular biochemistry. New sensitive Raman–based tools are being developed for the biochemical analysis of cellular processes [5–8].
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