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Medical & Biomedical Diagnostics

Biomedical science is one of the most exciting application areas of Raman spectroscopy because it can accomplish the diagnosis of disease at an early stage. Raman is a nondestructive technique that can be used for analysis including in vivo studies of tissues and cells. There is an increasing use of Raman for medical and biomedical science because Raman is an ideal technique for molecular fingerprinting and is sensitive to the chemical changes associated with disease. Furthermore, components in the tissue matrix, principally those associated with water and bodily fluids, give a weak Raman response, thereby improving sensitivity for those changes associated with a diseased state. Raman analysis of biopsy tissues has also been used to diagnose various cancers.

Raman spectroscopy is becoming more pervasive in biomedical diagnostics due to the demand for near real-time and minimally invasive analysis. Applications include: biopsies, cytology, drug efficacy studies, histopathology, surgical targets and treatment monitoring.

Some of the most active research areas are the analysis of abnormalities in tissue samples such as brain, arteries, breast, bone, cervix, embryonic media; and the identification of biomarkers for early stage detection of various diseases.

Raman has also been used to investigate blood disorders such as anemia, leukemia and thalassemia (inherited blood disorder), as well as understanding cell growth in bacteria, phytoplankton, viruses and other micro-organisms.

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