Metabolic fingerprinting in disease diagnosis: biomedical applications of infrared and Raman spectroscopy
The ability to diagnose the early onset of disease, rapidly, non-invasively and unequivocally has multiple benefits. These include the early intervention of therapeutic strategies leading to a reduction in morbidity and mortality, and the releasing of economic resources within overburdened health care systems. Some of the routine clinical tests currently in use are known to be unsuitable or unreliable. In addition, these often rely on single disease markers which are inappropriate when multiple factors are involved. Many diseases are a result of metabolic disorders, therefore it is logical to measure metabolism directly. One of the strategies employed by the emergent science of metabolomics is metabolic fingerprinting; which involves rapid, high-throughput global analysis to discriminate between samples of different biological status or origin. This review focuses on a selective number of recent studies where metabolic fingerprinting has been forwarded as a potential tool for disease diagnosis using infrared and Raman spectroscopies.