Liver cancer diagnosis by NIR-SERS

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  • Published: Mar 25, 2013
  • Author: Steve Down
  • Channels: Raman
thumbnail image: Liver cancer diagnosis by NIR-SERS

The development of a novel silver nanofilm as a substrate for NIR-SERS allows the non-invasive diagnosis of liver cancer from the changes observed in the spectra of oxyhaemoglobin. The fourth leading cancer killer in the world, liver cancer is generally diagnosed with ultrasound or testing for serum α-fetoprotein. Both of these techniques have their disadvantages, so Renming Liu from Chuxiong Normal University, and Chinese colleagues, have devised a simple and noninvasive alternative with which measurements can be taken within 16 s on a portable instrument.

The new procedure is based on the detection of oxyhaemoglobin using near-infrared surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (NIR-SERS). Normal Raman spectra of an oxyhaemoglobin solution mixed with silver colloid have poorly resolved features but the NIR-SERS spectra of oxyhaemoglobin on polyvinyl alcohol-coated silver nanofilm have strong features which can be utilised.

When the spectra from healthy patients were compared with those from liver cancer patients by principal components analysis combined with an independent sample T test, the two groups could be classified with a sensitivity of 95.0% and a specificity of 85.7%. The vibrational modes of the CaCm group and pyrrole ring of oxyhaemoglobin were the sources of the differences, as reported in Journal of Raman Spectroscopy. The method can also be used to monitor the recoveries of cancer patients who have had surgery, classifying them into the healthy or diseased groups.

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