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Vibrational spectroscopy of biofluids opens new paths to disease screening and diagnosis

Posted April 10, 2014
Vibrational spectroscopy of biofluids opens new paths to disease screening and diagnosis
In today’s ageing population, resulting in a rising prevalence of chronic diseases such as neurodegeneration, the need for simple, non-invasive methods to diagnose or screen for important medical conditions becomes more and more relevant. Objective and cost-effective approaches capable of diagnosing early-stage disease in point-of-care clinical settings are necessary to facilitate the personalising of therapies to prevent or slow down pathology development.

Vibrational spectroscopy, IR or Raman spectroscopy, could be the base for such kind of approach, as they provide several advantages: Sample preparation is minimal, no reagents are required, the techniques involved are relatively low-cost, data frameworks are available, a profile of spectral alterations can be determined, and the methods are suitable for automation. Yet, in the handling of some biofluids such as blood, there remain challenges to be overcome.

In a review article, a team at Lancaster University led by Pierre Martin-Hirsch explores the evidence supporting the applicability of techniques based on vibrational spectroscopy to generate spectral biomarkers of disease in biofluids such as plasma or serum.

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