The technology of Raman spectroscopy becomes a common tool in the medical sphere, especially, in surgery where precise manipulations are required. In addition, nowadays the process of Raman spectroscopy is an ideal solution for making human brain biopsy that is a highly accurate procedure, and one wrong move can cause irreparable consequences.
It should be mentioned that Raman spectroscopy is a non-destructive method of analysis which principle of operation is based on the use of the inelastic scattering of light from a laser to offer full information concerning the chemical structure of the analyzed sample.
Raman spectroscopy application in medicine includes surgical guidance due to its high level of precision, the technology enables to determine gliomas or metastases associated with colon, lung and skin cancer. The fact is that a Raman spectrum creates a clear chemical fingerprint for a specific molecule or material.
In process spectroscopy, the Raman probe is installed inside the internal cannula of a commercial biopsy needle. Such a probe comprises a central illumination optical fiber surrounded by 12 collection fibers. Thus, Raman spectroscopy system within a brain biopsy needle allows neurosurgeons to detect malignant tissue for stereotactic biopsy sampling in real time.
Moreover, the technology of Raman spectroscopy is considered to be very useful in tissues where cancer cell densities are high enough for reliable diagnoses. In addition, Raman spectroscopy is able to examine brain tissue at the end of a biopsy needle with minimal interruption to the surgical work. Consequently, the Raman system is a potential way to improve the diagnostic yield of biopsies and optimize treatment planning.
It should be noted that the system of Raman spectroscopy was recently successfully tested. Researchers have analyzed data obtained during 13 Raman acquisitions in the three patients. Finally, they obtained 11 spectra in tumors and two spectra in normal brain tissue in the patients having lymphoma.
Initially, the researchers have analyzed data acquired a background spectrum with the laser system off, then with the laser system turned on. Raman spectroscopy identifies tiny wavelength shifts in the returning light, which produce the spectral pattern. After processing the spectroscopic signal, the Raman spectra demonstrated attributes associated with malignant and benign brain tissue. It is planned to develop a precise statistical classification model that can be employed for real-time prediction of tissue type during a Raman spectroscopy of brain biopsy in the near future.
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