Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Volume 149, 2011
Previous Article Next Article

Exploiting the diagnostic potential of biomolecular fingerprinting with vibrational spectroscopy

Author affiliations


There is immense clinical need for techniques that can detect the biochemical changes associated with pre-malignancy. The ideal diagnostic test would provide rapid, non-invasive diagnosis at the point of care with high throughput and without prior tissue processing. Over the past decade vibrational spectroscopy techniques have demonstrated their ability to provide non-destructive, rapid, clinically relevant diagnostic information. Biochemical fingerprints of tissues measured using Raman and infrared spectroscopy analysed in conjunction with advanced chemometrics have shown great potential in the diagnostic assessment of biological material. Development of Raman probes is enabling the potential of in vivo clinical measurements to be realised. A novel probe design has been evaluated in clinical studies to identify and classify the subtle pre-malignant biochemical changes related to the carcinogenesis process. Exciting recent developments have enabled the probing of tissue samples at depth with huge potential for breast and prostate cancer diagnostics. Furthermore, the potential of vibrational spectroscopy to provide prognostic information is tantalising. Raman spectral data acquired on oesophageal biopsy samples analysed in conjunction with patient outcome data has shown the power of spectral biomolecular fingerprinting in predicting the outcome of patients with high-grade dysplasia in Barrett's oesophagus. Raman mapping can also be used to analyse thin tissue sections on calcium fluoride slides enabling the distribution of tissue constituents to be realised. The spectral data acquired effectively enables multiplexing of digital tissue stains since a whole array of information is gathered simultaneously. Technological developments are bringing the technologies closer to the clinical reality of spectral pathology and high-throughput non-destructive measurement with high resolution.

Back to tab navigation

Article information

19 May 2010
20 Jul 2010
First published
15 Oct 2010

Faraday Discuss., 2011,149, 279-290
Article type

Exploiting the diagnostic potential of biomolecular fingerprinting with vibrational spectroscopy

C. Kendall, J. Hutchings, H. Barr, N. Shepherd and N. Stone, Faraday Discuss., 2011, 149, 279
DOI: 10.1039/C005379A

Social activity

Search articles by author