Issue 1, 2021

Spatially offset Raman spectroscopy for biomedical applications


In recent years, Raman spectroscopy has undergone major advancements in its ability to probe deeply through turbid media such as biological tissues. This progress has been facilitated by the advent of a range of specialist techniques based around spatially offset Raman spectroscopy (SORS) to enable non-invasive probing of living tissue through depths of up to 5 cm. This represents an improvement in depth penetration of up to two orders of magnitude compared to what can be achieved with conventional Raman methods. In combination with the inherently high molecular specificity of Raman spectroscopy, this has therefore opened up entirely new prospects for a range of new analytical applications across multiple fields including medical diagnosis and disease monitoring. This article discusses SORS and related variants of deep Raman spectroscopy such as transmission Raman spectroscopy (TRS), micro-SORS and surface enhanced spatially offset Raman spectroscopy (SESORS), and reviews the progress made in this field during the past 5 years including advances in non-invasive cancer diagnosis, monitoring of neurotransmitters, and assessment of bone disease.

Graphical abstract: Spatially offset Raman spectroscopy for biomedical applications

Article information

Article type
Review Article
08 Jul 2020
First published
10 Nov 2020
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Chem. Soc. Rev., 2021,50, 556-568

Spatially offset Raman spectroscopy for biomedical applications

F. Nicolson, M. F. Kircher, N. Stone and P. Matousek, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2021, 50, 556 DOI: 10.1039/D0CS00855A

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. You can use material from this article in other publications without requesting further permissions from the RSC, provided that the correct acknowledgement is given.

Read more about how to correctly acknowledge RSC content.

Social activity