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Lasers Med Sci. 2001;16(1):2-9.

Analysis of near-infrared Raman spectroscopy as a new technique for a transcutaneous non-invasive diagnosis of blood components.

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  • 1IP&D Universidade do Vale do Paraíbo, Av. Shishima Hifumi 2911, Urbanova 12244-000 São José dos Campos, SP, Brazil.


Near-infrared Raman spectroscopy can be a new technique for physical evaluations, allowing the measurement of lactic acid concentrations, in blood or muscles, during the physical activity in a transcutaneous non-invasive way. Lactic acid accumulation in the human body is one of the factors that leads to fatigue and therefore it should be continually monitored during physical training. Our proposal is to use Raman spectroscopy to monitor the lactic acid present in an athlete without interrupting his exercise for sample collection. The experimental set-up for Raman spectroscopy comprised a near infrared laser at 830 nm, a Kaiser f/1.8 spectrometer and a liquid nitrogen cooled CCD detector. The radiation from the exciting laser is blocked in the collecting system by Kaiser holographic filters. A personal computer controls the entire system, saving and processing the Raman spectra. Experiments were undertaken to verify the presence of lactic acid in the Raman spectra of solutions of lactic acid in human serum and in blood from a Wistar rat. After these two experiments, another was developed in vivo in a Wistar rat, injecting intraperitoneally 1 ml of a 0.12 mol/l lactic acid aqueous solution. An optical fibre catheter touching the skin of the rat groin, over the ileac vein collected the Raman signal. The presence of lactic acid was detected inside a live organism, in a transcutaneous non-invasive way. The minimum lactic acid concentration that the equipment can detect was also studied. An experiment was undertaken for that purpose, in which the laser illuminated directly a quartz cuvette containing solutions with decreasing lactic acid concentrations up to values near to the physiological level in the human body. The results indicated that the technique can be suitable for the physical evaluation of athletes.

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