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Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2010 Sep 1;11(6):654-61.

Imaging with Raman spectroscopy.

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Department Medical Physics, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53705-2275, USA.


Raman spectroscopy, based on the inelastic scattering of a photon, has been widely used as an analytical tool in many research fields. Recently, Raman spectroscopy has also been explored for biomedical applications (e.g. cancer diagnosis) because it can provide detailed information on the chemical composition of cells and tissues. For imaging applications, several variations of Raman spectroscopy have been developed to enhance its sensitivity. This review article will provide a brief summary of Raman spectroscopy-based imaging, which includes the use of coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy (CARS, primarily used for imaging the C-H bond in lipids), surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS, for which a variety of nanoparticles can be used as contrast agents), and single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs, with its intrinsic Raman signal). The superb multiplexing capability of SERS-based Raman imaging can be extremely powerful in future research where different agents can be attached to different Raman tags to enable the interrogation of multiple biological events simultaneously in living subjects. The primary limitations of Raman imaging in humans are those also faced by other optical techniques, in particular limited tissue penetration. Over the last several years, Raman spectroscopy imaging has advanced significantly and many critical proof-of-principle experiments have been successfully carried out. It is expected that imaging with Raman Spectroscopy will continue to be a dynamic research field over the next decade.

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