The advantages of Raman spectroscopy in the life sciences

Raman spectroscopy is a relatively new technique that allows studying different low-frequency vibrational modes in molecular systems. Now, this type of process spectroscopy finds numerous new fields of applications, especially, in the life sciences due to optical filters that are included in the Raman system.

Comparing to Fourier transform infrared or FTIR spectroscopy that examines asymmetric molecular stretches and dipole moment changes via the process of radiation absorption, Raman spectroscopy analyzes symmetrical stretches and changes in molecule polarizability through inelastic scattering of radiation.

The following types of Raman spectroscopy are commonly used:

  • resonance Raman spectroscopy (RRS);
  • surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS);
  • coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy (CARS).

Also, Raman spectroscopy has numerous benefits over different conventional methods of biophysical analysis, for example, fluorescence spectroscopy, electron microscopy, x-ray scattering, and crystallography. In fact, it is able to keep simultaneously the sample integrity being studied and can be performed in real time.

Thus, this process spectroscopy is an ideal way for the biological and life sciences. Moreover, the tool is universal because of the variety of application fields that include neuro-oncology, oligonucleotide targeting, optogenetics, and in vitro cardiogenic differentiation. Herewith, Raman detection system is highly promising for neurosurgery for real-time tissue analysis and for genetic classification of gliomas.

It should be mentioned that Raman spectroscopy analyzes inelastically scattered radiation using two types of optical filters – a laser-transmitting filter that prevents any light outside the laser wavelength range from reaching the sample, and a laser-blocking filter that prevents excitation light from reaching the detector.

The Raman spectroscopy method is actively used in medicine and allows not only to visualize the structure of a biological sample without continuous preparation but also to analyze its composition in real time. Thus, it can be used in cancer diagnosis that often requires accurate and efficient technology for physical biopsy to minimize all risks.

The combination of Raman spectroscopy with label-free microscopy for image analysis enables to get rid of the main disadvantage of this process spectroscopy that is relatively slow speed of scanning. Moreover, such a union of Raman spectroscopy with other microscopy techniques makes the detection more accurate and sensitive.

Optromix is a manufacturer of fiber-optic probes for Raman spectroscopy. The company provides small, cost-effective Raman probe for endoscopic and other applications. If you have any questions or would like to buy a Raman probe, please contact us at  info@optromix.com

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