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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2010 Dec 1;504(1):40-9. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2010 Aug 1.

Validation model for Raman based skin carotenoid detection.

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Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.


Raman spectroscopy holds promise as a rapid objective non-invasive optical method for the detection of carotenoid compounds in human tissue in vivo. Carotenoids are of interest due to their functions as antioxidants and/or optical absorbers of phototoxic light at deep blue and near UV wavelengths. In the macular region of the human retina, carotenoids may prevent or delay the onset of age-related tissue degeneration. In human skin, they may help prevent premature skin aging, and are possibly involved in the prevention of certain skin cancers. Furthermore, since carotenoids exist in high concentrations in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and are routinely taken up by the human body through the diet, skin carotenoid levels may serve as an objective biomarker for fruit and vegetable intake. Before the Raman method can be accepted as a widespread optical alternative for carotenoid measurements, direct validation studies are needed to compare it with the gold standard of high performance liquid chromatography. This is because the tissue Raman response is in general accompanied by a host of other optical processes which have to be taken into account. In skin, the most prominent is strongly diffusive, non-Raman scattering, leading to relatively shallow light penetration of the blue/green excitation light required for resonant Raman detection of carotenoids. Also, sizable light attenuation exists due to the combined absorption from collagen, porphyrin, hemoglobin, and melanin chromophores, and additional fluorescence is generated by collagen and porphyrins. In this study, we investigate for the first time the direct correlation of in vivo skin tissue carotenoid Raman measurements with subsequent chromatography derived carotenoid concentrations. As tissue site we use heel skin, in which the stratum corneum layer thickness exceeds the light penetration depth, which is free of optically confounding chromophores, which can be easily optically accessed for in vivo RRS measurement, and which can be easily removed for subsequent biochemical measurements. Excellent correlation (coefficient R=0.95) is obtained for this tissue site which could serve as a model site for scaled up future validation studies of large populations. The obtained results provide proof that resonance Raman spectroscopy is a valid non-invasive objective methodology for the quantitative assessment of carotenoid antioxidants in human skin in vivo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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