Raman spectroscopy in microsurgery: impact of operating microscope illumination sources on data quality and tissue classification
Ambient light artifacts can confound Raman spectroscopy measurements performed in a clinical setting such as during open surgery. However, requiring light sources to be turned off during intraoperative spectral acquisition can be impractical because it can slow down the procedure by requiring surgeons to acquire data under light conditions different from the routine clinical practice. Here a filter system is introduced allowing in vivo Raman spectroscopy measurements to be performed with the light source of a neurosurgical microscope turned on, without interfering with the standard procedure. Ex vivo and in vivo results on calf and human brain, respectively, show that when the new filter system is used there is no significant difference between Raman spectra acquired under pitch dark conditions or with the microscope light source turned on. This is important for the clinical translation of Raman spectroscopy because of the resulting decrease in total imaging time for each measurement and because the surgeon can now acquire spectroscopic data with no disruption of the surgical workflow.