Optical diagnosis using advanced spectroscopic and computational techniques
he rapid developments in the field of infrared spectroscopy in the past decade have shown a potential for disease diagnosis using non-invasive technologies. Several earlier studies have highlighted the advantage of IR spectroscopy both in the near and mid IR regions for diagnostic purposes at clinical levels . The areas of focus have been the distinction of premalignant and malignant cells 1 and tissues from the normal using specific parameters obtained from FTIR spectra, making it a rapid and reagent free method. While it still requires pilot studies and designed clinical trials 2 to ensure the applicability of such systems for cancer diagnosis, substantial progress has been made in incorporating advances in computational methods into the system to increase the sensitivity of the entire set up making it an objective and sensitive technique suitable for automation to suit the demands of the medical community. The development of fiber-optics systems 3,4 for IR spectroscopy (Fig. 1 and Fig. 2) have further opened up new and modern avenues in medical diagnosis in-vivo at various levels of cells, tissues and organs under laboratory and clinical conditions. Autofluorescence from intracellular chromophores upon illumination of cells by a monochromatic light (Fig. 4) has also been found as a powerful complementary and sensitive technology for the early detection of cancer 5.
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