© 2017 Elsevier B.V. The accumulation of vascular smooth muscle (SMC)-like cells and stem cell-derived myogenic and osteogenic progeny contributes significantly to arteriosclerotic disease. This study established whether label-free vibrational spectroscopy can discriminate de-differentiated 'synthetic’ SMCs from undifferentiated stem cells and their myogenic and osteogenic progeny in vitro, compared with conventional immunocytochemical and genetic analyses. TGF-β1- and Jagged1-induced myogenic differentiation of CD44+mesenchymal stem cells was confirmed in vitro by immunocytochemical analysis of specific SMC differentiation marker expression (α-actin, calponin and myosin heavy chain 11), an epigenetic histone mark (H3K4me2) at the myosin heavy chain 11 locus, promoter transactivation and mRNA transcript levels. Osteogenic differentiation was confirmed by alizarin red staining of calcium deposition. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) maps facilitated initial screening and discrimination while Raman spectroscopy of individual cell nuclei revealed specific spectral signatures of each cell type in vitro, using Principal Components Analysis (PCA). PCA fed Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) enabled quantification of this discrimination and the sensitivity and specificity value was determined for all cell populations based on a leave-one-out cross validation method and revealed that de-differentiated SMCs and stem-cell derived myogenic progeny in culture shared the greatest similarity. FTIR and Raman spectroscopy discriminated undifferentiated stem cells from both their myogenic and osteogenic progeny. The ability to detect stem cell-derived myogenic progeny using label-free platforms in situ may facilitate interrogation of these important phenotypes during vascular disease progression.