Raman spectroscopy of blood offers significant potential for label-free diagnostics of disease. However, current techniques are limited by the use of low laser power to avoid photodegradation of blood; this translates to a low signal to noise ratio in the Raman spectra. We developed a novel flow cell based Raman spectroscopy technique that provides reproducible Raman spectra with a high signal to noise ratio and low data acquisition time while ensuring a short dwell time in the laser spot to avoid photodamage in blood lysates. We show that our novel setup is capable of detecting minute changes in blood lysate spectral features from natural aging. Moreover, we demonstrate that by rigorously controlling the experimental conditions, the aging effect due to natural oxidation does not confound the Raman spectral measurements and that blood treated with hydrogen peroxide to induce oxidative stress can be discriminated from normal blood with a high accuracy of greater than 90% demonstrating potential for use in a clinical setting.

Biomedical Optics Express
Department of Physics

Hansson, B. (Ben), Allen, C.H. (Christian Harry), Qutob, S. (Sami), Behr, B. (Bradford), Nyiri, B. (Balazs), Chauhan, V. (Vinita), & Murugkar, S. (2019). Development of a flow cell based Raman spectroscopy technique to overcome photodegradation in human blood. Biomedical Optics Express, 10(5), 2275–2288. doi:10.1364/BOE.10.002275