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Biomed Opt Express. 2017 Jul 24;8(8):3816-3827. doi: 10.1364/BOE.8.003816. eCollection 2017 Aug 1.

Differentiation of fibrotic liver tissue using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy.

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Centro de Ciencias Aplicadas y Desarrollo Tecnológico, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (CCADET-UNAM), Apartado Postal 70-186, Ciudad de México, 04510, México.
Laboratorio de Hígado, Páncreas y Motilidad (HIPAM), Unidad de Investigación en Medicina Experimental, Facultad de Medicina-Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Hospital General de México, Dr. Eduardo Liceaga, México.


Hepatic cirrhosis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide due to hepatitis C, alcoholism and fatty liver disease associated with obesity. Assessment of hepatic fibrosis relies in qualitative histological evaluation of biopsy samples. This method is time-consuming and depends on the histopathologists' interpretation. In the last decades, non-invasive techniques were developed to detect and monitor hepatic fibrosis. Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is a good candidate for a real-time, independent and fast technique to diagnose hepatic fibrosis. In this work LIBS was employed to characterize rat liver tissues with different stages of fibrosis. Depth profiling measurements were carried out by using a nanosecond Nd:YAG laser operated at the fundamental wavelength and an echelle spectrometer coupled with an ICCD camera. Due to the soft nature of the samples, plasma conditions largely change between consecutives shots. Thus, a theoretically supported procedure to correct the spectral line intensities was implemented. This procedure allows the reduction of the intensities' dispersion from 67% to 12%. After the correction, the LIBS signal shows an enhancement in calcium intensity by a factor of three as the fibrosis progressed. Calcium is known to increase crosslinking of extracellular matrix proteins in the fibrous septa. Therefore, our result singles it out as a key participant in the hepatic fibrosis.


(170.6510) Spectroscopy, tissue diagnostics; (170.6935) Tissue characterization; (300.6365) Spectroscopy, laser induced breakdown; (350.5400) Plasmas

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