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Volume 20, Issue 5-6, Pages 195-218

Biomedical applications of Raman and infrared spectroscopy to diagnose tissues

C. Krafft and V. Sergo

Department of Materials and Natural Resources, University of Trieste, Via Valerio 2, 34127 Trieste, Italy

Copyright © 2006 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The objective of the article is to review biomedical applications which became possible after the development of sensitive and high throughput Raman and Fourier transform infrared spectrometers in the past decade. Technical aspects of the instrumentation are briefly described. Then the broad range of vibrational spectroscopic applications with the focus on imaging and fiber-optical methods are discussed to study mineralized tissue (bone, teeth), skin, brain, the gastrointestinal tract (mouth, pharynx, esophagus, colon), breast, arteries, cartilage, cervix uteri, the urinary tract (prostate, bladder), lung, ocular tissue, liver, heart and spleen. Experimental studies are summarized demonstrating the possibilities and prospects of these methods in various fields of biodiagnostics to detect and characterize diseases, tumors and other pathologies.