Raman Spectroscopy

Raman is a spectroscopic method of using laser light to determine the molecular makeup of a subject. We are using Raman to determine in realtime whether cells are malignant or benign. Biopsied tissue samples, taken during the process of surgical resection, currently require from 20 minutes to one week to obtain sufficient pathology results. The development of devices that use Raman to biopsy tissue samples in real time will revolutionize the cancer screening process, allowing the surgeon to determine on a cellular level the exact boundary between malignant and benign cells, with near 100% percent accuracy, instantaneously. The surgeon also will be able to determine whether all the cancerous tissue was removed during surgery, drastically reducing the chances of cancer relapses. Although the technology involved in Raman spectroscopy has been available for many years, Gregory Auner, Ph.D., and a team of physicians, engineers and biochemists have reduced the size of the instrument from a large desktop item to a small handheld device.